Before You Know It


daphne_icon.gif thompson_icon.gif

Scene Title Before You Know It
Synopsis Two people go to a museum. It's not to appreciate the art in any conventional way.
Date February 8, 2009

The New York City Museum of Modern Art

The silence is oppressive, making the sound of Thompson's shoes against the smooth, shining floor of the museum ring out as he moves. People who have come here in pairs or groups talk in quiet appreciation, but many people are here on their own, observing the paintings, the statues, the works of modern art this place has to show off. The walls are white and seem to glow from the artificial light that gives no sense of day or night in the massive room, and unlike the other meanderers, Thompson walks with purpose and confidence. His suit is black, shirt buttoned high but no tie is in sight, shoes polished and silver-grey hair combed loosely. He doesn't pay attention to the art, he rarely does - instead, he approaches a petite blonde woman standing by a large statue.

He sidles. That's the best way to describe it. Unexpected appearance, he speaks first so as not to alarm her, a preemptive olive-branch. "Don't you think that one would be hard to carry?"

Speedsters are a little difficult to sneak up on, normally. Even when admiring the piece of art, Daphne hears someone approaching, but doesn't peek a glance over until the man speaks. If his voice or face quirks a memory, she doesn't completely vanish in a gust of wind, but she does shift her feet, hopping a little, and putting some distance between them. Testing her legs, maybe. Dark eyes shift around the room a little faster than a normal person would be able to glance, before they settle on him. "This?" she asks, pointing up at the statue. It's taller than her, and unless it's made of nerf material, it is too big for her to carry out. "Just looking," she says, shifting her weight from one foot to the next. "I remember you. How'd you find me?"

Thompson's hands slide into the pockets of his jacket, looking down at her with his perpetual expression of bored amusement, underlined with seriousness and professionalism. "In this day and age, people like you don't easily escape notice," he says. "These are prime hunting grounds for someone of your talents, isn't that right, Daphne?" He backs up a step, rocking on his heels, as if to show her he's not about to do anything like grab her or alert anyone. Just talking. "Do you remember my name?"

Brown eyes dart again, to follow his hands, as Daphne takes another step back, a casual step that keeps distance between them without looking as if she's running away. Still, the light steps on her feet barely make noise, due to weight and distribution. Very likely she could take off at any moment. Hands remain outside of any pockets, the light blue coat covering her from neck to knees, middle buttons done up, and slit in the back for easier movement. "Not very good at disguises, I know," she says, looking away for the first time. Not to the statue, but to a much smaller item under a glass case. A statue carved from solid gold. "Smecker?" she says with a hint of a smile, obviously knowing that's not the name. Hard to forget the name of the man who showed up and tried to invite you to come be studied on. "No, you're not quite cool enough," she says, tilting her head as she looks him over. "What do you want?"

Thompson's smile twists a little at the reference, although whether he understands it or not is up for debate. What he does see is that she remembers exactly who he is, and that's the important part. "I wanted to pitch something at you, Daphne," he says. "And what I need you to be doing is standing still for long enough for me to do that. What do you say we look at some art and you can hear me out?" His body turns a fraction, in indication to walk with him, pale eyes watching the twitchy young woman intently.

Still for long enough to listen to a… "Is there money involved?" Daphne asks, tilting her head to the side as she looks a little more interested. There's no jetting out the door at least, but she shifts again. It seems as if she has a difficult time staying perfectly still. Noticably, she's not moving away this time. Tennis shoes side step a little closer to him in fact, while still maintaining enough distance she could run before he reaches out and grabs her, but also an indication that she will walk near him when he steps. "I take cash."

And they walk, and again, Thompson has no inclination to look at the displayed art, even if his gaze doesn't continually rest of Daphne. "What doesn't involve money?" he says, as they pass by paintings. Not quite answering the question, not yet. "The organisation I'm involved with has come a long way since we talked last," he starts. "I'm not here to ask you to be a test subject. I'm here to offer you a job. And yes," a glance, eyebrows lifting, "it pays." If the cut of his suit is of any indication, it pays well.

The art is only briefly glanced at. Daphne had enough time before he wandered in to give most the art a twice over at normal speed. It seems her eyes are more on the man. Prospect of a job, from an actual employer, is probably better than stealing out of a museam and hoping to sell it off to someone for a quarter of it's actual value— probably in another country. "Cash," she reinterates, "I don't do any of this bank stuff. They're all crooks." And require IDs. She has hidie holes for her cash in multiple locations, most likely. Cash is so much better than banks. Faster withdrawals, for one. "What do you need, Will?" Not his name.

"Are they," Thompson says, more for his own personal amusement, but he doesn't decline her request. "What I need? Of someone with your ability, I'd have a lot of needs," he says, voice smooth and rolling. "Informant. Recruiter. Thief. You're a special girl, Daphne, and I'd like to be the one to show you just how useful your ability can be to the world, instead of looting the general public of…" He glances towards a painting on the wall that is mostly just a solitary smear of blue paint in the center. "…fine art." He adjusts his jacket a little. "And if bundles of cash make you happy, that can be arranged."

The compliment about being special earns a glance. Daphne's smiling at him, from the looks of things. Nothing he's asking her to do is that far outside of what she'd have agreed to back in Paris. And cash is promised. Cash is something she needs. As is real estate. And cash can help pay for real estate. The "fine art" earns a quick glance. "I said I was just looking. There's some better stuff," she adds, before looking back at him. "Did you see the statue of the would-be President made out of old bottle caps? It's even cooler now that the Other Guy took office instead." She read the little note at the display. She shifts her weight, and suddenly she's no longer beside him, but in front of him, looking at him. A shift of wind that will catch his hair and ruffle his suit are the only indication that she's moved. "Tell you what, Thomspon." She did get his name. "I'll do a couple jobs, your pick. They'll get done before you know it. After that I'll decide if this is a more permenant arrangement. Deal?"

Thompson blinks, and she zooms. Handy. Her snap decision is pondered on for a moment - not a man usually of negotiation (in fact, the Company does very little negotiating in general), this appears to be a special circumstance. Perhaps something even slightly more personal than a simple Company recruitment - but then again, that line is incredibly blurry. Thompson is nothing if not a Company Man. His hand disappears into his jacket, pulling out his wallet from an inside pocket. But it's not money he takes out, it's a slip of paper and a business card. The wallet? Empty. He knows who he's dealing with. He holds both out, after checking the time on his watch. The paper holds a few sentence of information (boarding times, terminals), and a photograph of a man in his late forties. "In about an hour and a half," he says, "this man is gonna try to board a plane at Heathrow Airport. You know where that is? You're gonna make this difficult for him. Steal his ticket, his passport, whatever you want to do. After you're done, you can call the number on the card and you can receive your cash. Then, we can talk."

To her, the decision may have taken much longer than it seemed to take. The wallet is looked at, no cash on him, no forward paying, but Daphne does take the card and the piece of paper, looking it over before raising brown eyes back up at the man. "All you want me to do is delay him?" Her head tilts to the side again, like a curious bird trying to figure out of the hand offering a snack should be accepted or not. "Who is he?" Having always dealt with artifacts more than people, it's a force of habit, even as she tucks the card and folds the piece of paper into an inner pocket on her coat. Hour and a half. Plenty of time to get to Hearthrow and do the job. She could even stop for a bagel.

"A man we don't want leaving that country just yet," Thompson says with a half-smile. "Not until I get to talk to him personally." His hands go back into his pocket. "Don't talk to him, don't stop, just do what you do and you'll get your money. After that, I have another offer. Something a little more up your alley. How does that sound, Ms. Millbrook?"

"I rarely get to visit airports," Daphne says, all questions seemingly dropped. Cash is promised, but she could also be taking the information and running. Good thing she likes money. She straightens up even as she glances over at some of the pieces of artwork. Modern art. "For the record, I like classical art better. You'll hear from me before you know it." The good thing about boarding times and terminal information, she can get him at the check-in counter. She won't even have to buzz by security to make it to the terminal. He won't even get his bags on the plane, if she has anything to say about it. Customs would have been more difficult anyway. With another shift on her feet, she starts to move. Another rush of air as she disappears in a blur for the door. The people by themselves of in groups get jostled and pushed, hair windblown, skirts blown. The security ropes continue to sway in the direction she went. She didn't take the front door, from the look of things, but the direction she did go wouldn't be hard to follow. Just look for flying paper.

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