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Scene Title Broadway
Synopsis Remi, Richard and Silas meet up to inspect their recent investment.
Date March 14, 2019

Bay Ridge Pier

Spring is pretty clearly on its way — the weather is warming up into the 50’s, and the sun has been coming out sporadically in between chilly rains. The river is slightly choppy to go with the winds the gust harder out near the water, and small waves lap gently against the concrete pier.

A lone figure stands out near the end of the pier, watching the enormous 289-foot-long red supply tug as it slowly drifts to the dock that is attached to the pier, engines working to bring it to a stop in the proper place. Remi Davignon wears a thick wrap-around sweater, which she holds closely around herself as the wind whips her hair about.

This is an exciting moment for the telepath, the culmination of a lot of sweet talking, planning, and negotiating — the boat is already theirs, but now it’s here, and they can start building. Diagrams and blueprints and planning are all one thing, but actually seeing what they’ve been working toward have a physical presence is humbling, to say the least.

The sound of heavy footsteps is enough to forewarn Remi of Silas's approach as he slowly walks up the pier behind her; if that wasn't enough, the rasp of his breathing and the faint smell of smoke that still clings to him is probably a dead giveaway. He stops and stands behind her, also staring at the boat.

It's probably a good thing that Remi doesn't have her ability back at the moment; what she'd read from Silas would probably put a damper on her mood. Which is not to say that he's not impressed by the sight — it's bigger than anything he's been able to lay claim to in his entire life thus far — but he also can't help but see the sheer debt it represents. The amount that this has put him into debt is very nearly enough to give him heart palpitations.

"Like Ah' said. It'll all come back around."

Silas lets out a heavy, rasping breath, pushing that voice, that vision, from his mind. Suck it up, Buttercup. You wanna start something? You wanna be something? You're getting a late start on it, so you're gonna have to bust your ass to get it done. Take the risks, own them, and never let anyone turn you back.

It's not like this wasn't a decent investment, come to that. The arguments Remi had made were still sound; given the problems the Safe Zone's power grid has, having an independent power source will be a distinct advantage, as well as an additional draw to their business.

Besides. Lis puts a lot of stock in Richard, and that's worth something. If he's going to have a heart-stopping amount of debt to someone, then it being someone Lis trusts is… probably better than some of the alternatives. "Heya Sunshine," he says, his voice a bit more gravelly than normal. He turns his attention back to the boat. "Looks bigger than I imagined."
This doesn’t come without stress for the former starlet — they owe Raytech a good amount of money, and even more will be spent on actually building the place — a three storied dinner theater, with an expanded kitchen for Silas, and a covered bar on the roof, to maximize the enjoyment for all involved. Not to mention the addition of a few possible defense measures to use against the pirates she keeps hearing about.

There is a lot of money going into this project — and hopefully, they’re doing this right.

Her business partner’s rather noisy approach is enough to draw her attention away from the enormous red ship — vastly larger than anything she’s ever captained before. She foresees a lot of poring over manuals in her future — and thankfully, the man who sold them the ship has volunteered to teach her the ropes.

“It’s fucking huge,” she replies, enjoying the rare opportunity to speak with her natural accent to the man. She really wishes she had chosen a French backstory, if only so she wouldn’t have to keep up an American accent when around anyone not in the know on the topic of her identity. “It’s bigger than I thought it would be.” A pause. “We’re really doing this.”

Silas lets out a rasping chuckle. "Yeah, we are. We're all in on this." He starts to cough a bit, but manages to shut that down before he really gets going; given half a chance, he'll cough himself blue in the face. He's still not back up to par, not really; Eve might've been right. He's getting older.

Still, feeling like death or not, he's not about to miss the ship coming in; a bad omen, for one thing, and a bad precedent for another. "Lookin' forward to seein' her up close. Sooner we know what we're dealin' with, sooner we can get to work, and sooner we can open." He falls silent after that, save for the heavy rasp of his breathing.

The woman smiles faintly over to Silas — though she does look rather concerned about his cough. One hand reaches out, landing gently on Silas’ shoulder. “Let me know if you need a break, yes?” She isn’t going to force him to rest, but she will take extra care to give him every opportunity to do so of his own will.

She then turns to look at the ship as it comes to a stop, and the dock hands and crew go about mooring it with ropes and an anchor. A walkway is pushed out onto the deck of the boat, for the sake of easy boarding. Remi points to the gangway. “We’ll sell on-site tickets out here, I think,” she murmurs, “and take tickets before they board.” Then, she turns back to the boat. “New York is going to love your cooking.”

Silas gives a half-hearted chuckle and a smile, tired but genuine. "Nah. I'm fine." That one's not just a lie but a damned lie, but given enough time it'll become true. "I'm on the upswing now," which is… probably true, even if it doesn't really feel like it. "Fresh air and a little exercise'll probably do me a world of good. I've been laid up long enough." He pauses a moment, then shrugs. "But if I need a break… I'll go sit down somewhere."

Silas falls silent as she plans the nuts and bolts, nodding now and again… but when she speaks up about his cooking, he chuckles. "I hope so. We're banking on it," he murmurs… and as he looks at the boat, he, too, lets himself imagine for a moment. They'll like what he has to offer, surely, and hopefully the networking he's been trying to do will give them a start. Advertise, hype up their grand opening, deliver a night's entertainment and good food for a decent price — tricky, in this economy, but they'll do their best. They'll pay off the boat, then he'll be in the clear, and he can start to invest. Invest in what? Everything.

The only practical question he has in that vision of the future is whether the theatre crowd will want what he has to offer… but he thinks can add a few things to his repertoire to appeal to them, too. Maybe chicken cordon bleu? It's French for 'blue ribbon chicken' (thanks Remi), which sounds like it'd be right at home on any country diner menu… but it's French, so it automatically sounds six times more sophisticated. Well, whatever sells.

He gives another of those half-cough, half-chuckles. "Let's go take a look, see what we've got to do before opening night."

The redhead at his side gives Silas little choice in the matter as she takes his arm, offering a warm smile his way. “I know so. I’ve been eating the food here, and I personally don’t think any of it compares to what you cook up for me.” She grins to the man as they make their way up the gangway onto the main deck, where most of the construction will be.

She gestures across the expansive area. “We’ll have the main floor of the theater here, I’m thinking with the stage and backstage at the back,” she points down to the back of the long expanse of the deck that normally holds shipping containers and other cargo. Blue eyes turn, then, toward the larger deck, complete with a rusty old basketball hoop. “My thoughts were to keep this area a little separate, with a doorway into the theater proper.”

She glances to the man. “Shall we go explore the inside?”

Silas glances over to her and grins, this time with a bit more cheer, as she takes his arm and walks him up the gangway. He nods, both in recognition of her praise for his cooking, and in agreement with her theater plans. "Hrm. More than one level for the seating, I'm thinking? A few rows of seats as an option up front for those who just want the show, then tables behind for those who want dinner and a movie; maybe have the floor go up in tiers," he says, gesturing with his free hand to indicate a shallow stairstep pattern.

"And then… a second level, for box seats." And catwalks all above, just in case. He frowns, considering more practical aspects. "Gonna have to have good insulation. Heating and cooling's gonna be a bear," he starts, trailing off into coughing. He manages to catch it before it slips out of control, at least; at Remi's suggestion to look at the inside, he nods.

An expensive black car rolls up to the foot of the pier, the driver’s side door opening before Richard Ray emerges. A black suit with a red shirt beneath, he walks slowly along the concrete pier, looking the boat over with a thoughtful expression - gaze hidden by dark glasses, the wind making his tie flap a bit in its breeze.

Reaching the gangplank, he calls casually up, “Hallo, the ship!”

Three levels for box seats, I think. I was talking to an architect, we can probably get a big enough place to seat 200, easy.” Remi makes a sweeping gesture above the flat deck, a grin on her face. “And perhaps a bar deck on the rooftop — partially covered, but maybe with doors we can open up on nice evenings. A place people can go during intermission if they don’t want to stay at their tables.”

She’s got plans.

As Richard calls up, she laughs softly. “Ahoy, Richard! Welcome aboard, you can come on the grand tour with us!” She turns toward the gangway, a wide smile on her face. By sponsoring this whole thing, Richard has easily cemented himself as one of her favorite people in this world.

"Three levels for box seats, huh?" Silas asks, eyebrows rising. "You don't think that might be overkill? Might not make the best impression if we aren't able to pack the house, and the heating bill might get pricey…" he observes, looking over to her worriedly. If she's able to offer good counter-arguments for his points, so much the better.

And then he hears Richard call up. The Apex Creditor, he thinks to himself, half-joking. He squares his shoulders, forcing an energetic expression. "Ahoy, Richard!" he calls down, his voice overlapping with Remi's as she offers the same greeting. He snorts at Remi, looking amused.

“She’s a bit bigger than my old boat,” Richard says with a chuckle as he heads his way up the gang-plank, hands spreading as if to encompass the whole of the place, “Probably doesn’t handle as well, but for your purposes - should work perfectly.”

Or so he hopes. He isn’t completely made of money, after all.

“Just in time for the tour, then?” He flashes a grin as he steps onto the deck, “Good, let’s go.”

“Oui, three.” Remi grins over to Silas. “The bottom floor, and the top two tiers.” She waves her arm above her head. “On slower nights, we can offer free seat upgrades to the second tier, and close off the third.” She nods quietly, grinning to the man. “It’s a win-win — we look fuller, and our customers will be thrilled to get upgraded seats.” She offers a sage nod, as though this is the best idea ever.

As Richard comes aboard, Remi turns, reaching out and giving him a business-professional hug. “Right on time. I was just talking to Silas about my grand schemes for the theater setup — stage and backstage back there,” she gestures to the back of the long platform that will serve as the base for the theater portion. “Two extra tiers, and a rooftop bar deck, half opened, half enclosed.”

Then, she’s turning, making her way toward the stairs, grinning over her shoulder at Richard. “There’s a motorized dinghy over there on the port side,” she points to emphasize, “which will probably handle better.” She laughs. “I’m going to be reading manuals for weeks.” Thankfully, the former captain is teaching her the ropes.

"Ha. Slick," Silas says, nodding slowly at Remi's counterpoint. His concerns about the costs of heating the space aren't completely mollified, but what she's saying sounds like good showmanship; he can approve of that. Whether it's good business or not… that he's willing to take on faith.

Silas grins as Richard joins them. He waits until Remi's done with her hug, then extends a hand for a shake. "Glad ya could make it," he says amiably.

Richard returns that professional embrace, then reaches out to clasp the offered hand from Silas. “Good to see you both,” he chuckles, “I don’t know a damn thing about show business, so I’ll leave that to the experts…”

He moves to step easily after her, inquiring as she shows them around, “So how’re you two settling in?”

“Aside from growing weary of speaking in an American accent,” Remi replies, quite happily speaking with her natural accent, “I love it.” She slowly begins to climb the stairs, making sure to keep a slower pace for the still-recovering Silas.

“I’ve been so busy, between planning this,” she remarks with a wide gesture around at the boat, “but I’ve also just been enjoying being back on solid ground, in New York.” She pauses briefly, glancing somewhat longingly toward the Manhattan Exclusion Zone that is visible from boat and pier. She quickly shakes that one off, though. “I also have been very much enjoying all of the food I never thought I would get to try again.”

"Heh. It's been… exciting." He follows after Remi, doing his best to pretend he doesn't feel like a recently reanimated corpse; luckily Remi's moving a bit more slowly than usual, too. "I've been keeping busy. Trying to price stuff… mostly trying to get the name out and about, though. Network, all that jazz. Gotta get your foot in the door, you know?"

He glances back to Richard with a grin. "And that, Rich, is why I'm keepin' my ass in the kitchen. Biggest gig I ever did was an eleven-year-old's birthday party."

Silas pauses for a moment. "How's Lis and Aura gettin' along?" he asks. "They settling in all right? From what they've told me, our little stay aboard Kenner's Ark was just the tip of the iceberg on what they went through to get back here…" He lowers his voice at the mention of Kenner, eyes moving to Remi for a split-second. "Oh, and Chel, too?"

“They’re settling in alright. This is home for Liz, and Aurora’s been bounced around to so many places I think she’s just happy to be settling in one spot,” Richard admits, shaking his head as they head up the stairs to the upper deck, “Chel…” His nose wrinkles a bit, “Mom’s taking a bit more adjustment. All these years focused on one goal, and she lost everything to find it. Ria’s death is hitting her real hard, too…”

He flashes a smile over to Remi, “The Big Apple ain’t what she used to be, but she’ll recover. Us New Yorkers are stubborn.”

Silas is right to glance toward Remi — the mention of one Donald Kenner has an almost instantaneous reaction in the woman, her posture stiffening as all of the muscles in her back tense. She doesn’t say a word about it, though, her pace quickening ever-so-slightly. She’s been coping as well as she can, but that name in particular sets chills down her spine.

Instead of showing her emotions, she stuffs them down, turning a glance back to the two men as she reaches the top of the stairs. “I hope she finds some peace here.” She dips her head respectfully in Richard’s direction.

Remi pauses here, turning to look briefly over the deck that will soon be swarming with construction workers. Then, she’s continuing along, aiming for the bridge to start out with. She might be more than a little bit excited about having a ship big enough to have its own bridge.

"Yeah. Shit," Silas says glumly at the memory of Ria. He is silent for a moment, but rallies quickly.

"Heh. Yeah, no arguin' New York stubbornness, though! Even when the waters rose, there was still the Pelago of Manhattan. People hangin' on anywhere they could find a ledge, by their fingernails if they had to," he says, flashing a grin back at Richard. Unfortunately Remi's pulling ahead, and as Silas tries to hurry to keep up his breathing starts to rasp again. He finally manages to pull even with her when she stops to overlook the deck, trying not to make his sigh of relief too obvious.

“I can imagine,” Richard admits, turning his head to look up towards the silhouettes of what few skyscrapers remain before turning back, “It… shit, I almost feel guilty about it all, since I stopped the bomb here when it was going to go off and flood the world. Since I wasn’t there, well…”

His lips twist in a grimace, and then he picks up his pace to catch up, “So what sort of shows are you thinking of putting on out here, Remi?”

A small smile forms on Remi’s face, the woman tilting her head in Richard’s direction. “It’s a shame you missed my movies. Just ask Silas, they were good. I won plenty of awards,” she muses, pausing at the steps that lead up to the bridge to let her companions catch up.

“Don’t feel guilty, though. You saved this world — it might not be the place it is now if you had grown up in our time, and who knows if you could have done there what you did here?” The woman peers Richard over, brows raised slightly.

She slips up the steps and into the…complicated looking control room, eyes wide as saucers as she takes it all in. That doesn’t stop her from answering Richard’s question, though. “I’ve noticed a distinct lack of Broadway out here. Perhaps we can revive it a little bit,” she replies, laughing softly. “Other than that, I was thinking of just about everything entertainment-related. Plays, concerts, stand-up comedy. Might as well maximize our earnings potential, oui?”

Silas blinks at what Richard had said. He'd stopped the bomb in Antarctica? Silas had gleaned something of Richard's… circumstances… during their time in quarantine, but he hadn't known that Richard had been the one to stop the Flood here. For want of a nail, he thinks, a vast sense of melancholy coming over him like the flooding tide. For want of a nail, he thinks again, mind drifting back to what he'd seen between the worlds.

Remi's comment draws him back to the here and now; Silas blinks owlishly, taking a moment to replay the last few seconds worth of conversation. "Yeah, she was good. Famous enough that even I'd heard of her," Silas agrees with a grin. He'd seen a few of her movies; they'd not really been his sort of flick, but he can't deny that she'd been good at them. He nods agreement with Remi's thoughts about the lineup. "Maybe a couple Broadway type shows in the evening, and more of a variety type thing earlier in the day?" he suggests… then he chuckles. "Who knows. If I can escape the kitchen, maybe I'll even sneak onstage and do card tricks or something," Silas snickers.

Silas's momentary spate of humor cuts off quickly as he gets a look at the control room. He nods as he takes it all in, visibly impressed.

“I can believe it,” Richard laughs, stepping after her into the control room, “You— she— always was a wonderful performer.” A hint of melancholy there at the mention of the other Remi, even as he took in the room with a sweep of eyes hidden by dark shades.

He crooks one eyebrow up over the edge of his glasses, noting humorously, “I hope you got an instruction manual with this thing.”

The mention of the other her doesn’t go unnoticed — it’s a difficult subject, especially with the fact that the old her still has a missing husband and children. “Well, I’m not done yet. After my ten year hiatus, I’m very much ready to get back into the spotlight.” She smiles faintly, hoping the levity of her tone will help the melancholy note.

Richard’s next remark prompts a bark of a laugh from the woman. “Oh, do I ever have an instruction manual,” she replies, shaking her head as she promptly moves over to the captain’s chair and settles into it. Just to try it out, you know. “Her former captain has agreed to stay and help me learn how to work her properly, and I’m thankfully a quick study.” She cautiously runs her fingers over the control panels, with all of those buttons.

A grin is shot toward Silas. “I would pay to see that,” she says of his magic tricks, laughing softly. “On slower nights, we could even do some Karaoke. I always loved those nights.” She chuckles. “This will be good — for everyone.” She offers a smile to Richard. “Thank you for helping us make this happen.”

"It's a new beginning," Silas says, with unusual gravity. "I've got a second chance; I aim to make something of it." He nods to Richard. "You've got my thanks as well."

After a moment, he breaks into a grin. "So. Any tips for us newcomers?" Silas asks the question lightly, but there's a genuine curiosity behind it; he knows that Richard's past has a few parallels to his own, at least in terms of broad strokes — born in Flood, something of a checkered past, went straight and went into business — and if there's anything he can learn from the other man's experiences, he'll take it. He wasn't kidding when he said he meant to make something of his second chance, and Raytech seems like a pretty good bar to measure success by.

“I can fly a plane, but a boat? I always left that to Bebe,” Richard admits in good humor, giving the bridge another once-over before looking back to the pair once more. A slight raise of both brows over his shades, and he spreads his hands to either side, “Tips? Hell, man, I always do things on the fly, but…”

He shakes his head, “There’s still some— tension between the Evolved and the unEvol— er, sorry, the SLC-positive and negative. Whatever the current PC term is. So be careful. There’s at least one asshole out there starting up a supremacist movement, and we’ve still got Pure Earth douchebags running around. So just keep that in the back of your head. It shouldn’t be a problem, but…”

“Is there any world where there’s no tension between us and them?” Remi looks up from the control panel, peering over at Richard. “Until every last one of the human race is Evolved, there will always be someone who does not have an ability who will be jealous of those of us that do.” A shrug rolls over the woman’s narrow shoulders, eyes turning back to the control panel to dance over the various buttons and switches.
“Perhaps one day we will all be able to move beyond our differences, but until then, there’s always going to be someone who doesn’t have something who will be jealous of someone who does. People always want what they can’t have.” She glances up to the windows that overlook the pier, then back to her companions.

Silas nods slowly, a thoughtful expression deepening as he considers first Richard's words, then Remi's. Envy? Is that really it? Part of it, almost certainly… but he doesn't think that's all of it. It can't be. He doesn't really think everyone getting powers would make a difference, either; even if everyone had them, some would get abilities like shooting explosions from their hands, and others would get abilities like being able to telekinetically control cottage cheese. Still, Remi's got one thing right. People always want what they don't have, and what they can't have is automatically the juiciest fruit of all.

He shakes his head slightly, as if trying to shake off a bothersome insect. He can't do anything to change the human condition; the important thing is the future, and his own actions. "Heh. I'll keep that in mind," Silas says, nodding. His expression darkens a bit as he remembers the news report on the fire in Jackson Heights; the kid and the dog who'd been stuck in there, potential victims of a clumsy-ass coverup attempt for a hate crime. Pure Earth. The Vanguard. Fuck em all, he thinks, lips curling up into a toothy grin. "I'll keep my eyes open. Anyone tryin' to start shit on my boat… I'll do my best to give em a nasty surprise." For a moment, something dark gleams in his eye…

Then it's gone, almost as quickly as it had come, leaving only a bright smile behind. "Still! Good to hear that you can get by flyin' on instinct these days! Gives me hope," Silas grins.

“I’ve seen worlds where nearly everyone was Evolved too… it doesn’t work out as well as you might think,” Richard admits, one hand coming up to scratch at the back of his neck, “So it goes, so it goes. Human nature. One day we’ll find a way to move beyond it, or, well, we’ll all go extinct. Personally I’m rooting for the first one…”

He chuckles at Silas’s words, “Good. I’m sure you all can handle yourselves, you don’t exactly come from a soft place to live.”

That’s an understatement — this iteration of Remi doesn’t even look as soft as the version of her that Richard once knew. “It’s all about people wanting what they can’t have, and hating those that already have it. If you ask me honestly, I have little hope that we as humans will ever overcome that particular flaw we have.” The Frenchwoman reaches down, pulling out a very thick manual and setting it on the Captain’s chair.

A smirk spreads over the woman’s face as Silas mentions the possibility of people starting anything on their boat. “Oh, if someone starts shit on our boat, they’ll have both of us to deal with.” She smiles rather fondly over to Silas, then back to Richard. “Speaking of handling ourselves, it may be good to request some additional security measures — just in case. Cameras, mostly, but anything else you can think of to keep us safe and keep people accountable.”

Remi opens the manual, staring down at the first page she comes to. “The engine is going to be the most difficult one to figure out. We may need to hire someone who can understand these things — feel free to send someone our way if you know anyone, oui?”

Silas nods wry agreement; he'd raise a glass to Richard's comment about his former home not being soft if he had a drink. As Remi starts talking about security, he starts to nod slowly. "Might be nice to have some cameras set up, yeah. And maybe a proper engineer for a bit. I was… heh, guess I'da been chief engineer on the Forthright," he says, and for a moment there the homesickness bites him hard. He manages to kick it back down quickly, though. "But what I did there was mostly kludgework. This… this is gonna be the start of somethin' new. Might as well learn to do things right… assumin' you got someone you can spare, at least," he says, his face taking on an apologetic expression. Silas isn't usually that keen on asking for help, and asking for more when someone's already invested so much is doubly difficult.

“Cameras, definitely,” Richard agrees, glancing across the place, “Make sure the fire stations are all well-stocked just in case. Maybe hire a couple security guards…” His lips twitch a little as he tries not to smile, “We do have security for hire, as it happens, and I can probably get you some very good terms on a contract.”

A hand rakes back through his hair, “We’ll see what we can do.”

“We’ll certainly have to look into that, then,” Remi replies, chuckling, as she turns to smile at Richard. “I hear good things about Raytech security, and as an investor, you’re naturally the first person I’ll turn to in such things.” With luck, Raytech stands to make a profit off of the theater just as much as Remi and Silas do.

She turns a grin to Silas. “I get the feeling that this one is a bit more complex than the Forthright.” She chuckles. “Bigger, at least. I don’t think I’ve been on a boat so large since cruise ships were still a thing back in our world,” she continues, patting one of the consoles deferentially. “She’ll be fun to learn.”

So much exciting potential here — Remi might seem calm, but inwardly she’s cheering.

Silas gives Richard a nod of thanks; then, as Remi speaks, his gaze drifts to the consoles, studying them. His expression turns a bit sour as Remi mentions cruise ships; his last experience on the Freedom of the Seas still left a bad taste in his mouth.

Still, that's a literal world away from here. "Yeah… I'll have to see if I can catch her old engineer, see if I can bribe 'em to give me a walkthrough of the engine room," he says, rubbing at his chin. Then his attention snaps back to Remi. "Lemme know what the captain has to say about runnin' the bridge, too. I don't plan to be at the helm anytime soon — " for all of our sakes " — but there's no excuse not to know the basics, right?" he says, grinning.

“A new beginning for you both, as well as this old girl under our feet,” Richard observes in approving tones, thumping a hand against the wall, “And maybe giving the Zone some cheer and morale it could use, too, what with Hollywood gone. You’re Broadway now…”

He grins, “Do the Big Apple proud.”

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