tamara_icon.gif veronica3_icon.gif

Scene Title Dervish
Synopsis The whirlwind descends upon Veronica again, this time bearing… gifts?
Date April 27, 2011

The Commonwealth Arcology

Evening in A-ring means that most people are holed up in their apartments eating dinner or watching television, or possibly using the pool or gym or other community areas. Veronica Sawyer is coming from the gym herself, having completed her daily five-mile run. These days she's slower than she'd like — the past year has taken a toll on her body and an even larger one on her spirit. The slim brunette seems weary rather than invigorated as she takes the long way around back to her apartment. There's a more direct route, but she's in no hurry to get to the empty rooms that have been assigned to her. They only serve to remind her how alone she feels in this underground world.

Tamara has been making rounds of her own this evening, ducking her head into all of the public areas except the gym. She wears the same sundress as for her last encounter with the security chief, but now carries a file folder tucked into the crook of her arm. A folder that clearly holds very little now, and gets ever so infinitesimally slimmer as she accosts another passer-by in the hall — where that accosting happens with an ingenuous smile and the presentation of a piece of paper as if it has all the import in the world. Even from a distance, the page has clearly been marked up with paint in a way that… may not precisely qualify as artistic, save perhaps to the greatest aficionados of abstraction.

Still, the person she gives it to clearly humors the girl, and makes no bones about studying the painting even after Tamara has moved on, her ever-present shadow in tow at a discreet but not great distance. He, too, seems to have received an artwork, if the fold of paper sticking out of his suit's breast pocket is any indication.

Spotting Veronica down the hall, Tamara smiles brightly, seeming the absolute antithesis to the older woman's weariness. "Hello!"

Veronica's dark eyes fall on the approaching woman and her shadow, smirking just a little at what she thinks are simply antics of an eccentric and childish mind. The agent, or security chief, herself is not in the uniform-esque blazer/trousers/boots combo she usually wears during the day but instead in a black tank top and black shorts, arms and legs bare and revealing so many of those injuries she's taken on in the last few years, scars both faint and fresh, the latest up on the side of her neck, revealed because her hair's been pulled back in a ponytail rather than allowed to fall to veil that reminder of her last near-death experience.

"Tamara," she says with a smile, lifting her hand in a friendly enough wave. She glances to the recipient of the artwork and then back to the younger blonde woman. "Been painting, I see."

"Yes." The seer falls in beside the security chief, summarily linking arms with her on the side that isn't carrying the folder. She paints often, and has given her art out before; will do so again. It keeps certain echelons wondering: Which bequests are important? Which are just the whimsy of a fractured mind? But those words, Veronica doesn't need to hear — nor Tamara's shadow, who stands aside while the women pass him by, then resumes quiet escort a short distance behind. "People appreciated them," is all she says instead.

"Do you paint?" Tamara asks, as they continue down the hall. Then seems to answer her own question. "You didn't. Maybe you should think about it."

Veronica shakes her head though Tamara is already answering her own question. "Why doesn't it bother me that you know more about me than most people?" she says, musingly. "I… never really saw myself as artistic, no. Before I became this, I was going to be a doctor. I don't think I'm a particularly creative person, but you probably know that, too." She may be talking just for the sake of it, because it doesn't have to do with security or a case or anything that the Institute requires Veronica to talk about. It's nice to talk to someone without a reason and without pretending to be someone she isn't — she knows that would be pointless.

"Any particular subject? Or media?" she asks. "If you could let me know if I'm better at one than another, I'll be more likely to try it," she confesses, dimples actually showing as she glances sideways at Tamara. "I don't do well with failure. So if I know it won't totally suck, I might give it a go."

Tamara casts a sidewise smile at the other woman, her expression sympathetic. "Tell you a little secret?" She leans in conspiratorially to whisper in Veronica's ear: "I won't really. You'll know first." Straightening, Tamara tips her head and lifts one shoulder in a small shrug. "Maybe that's why."

As Veronica goes on to talk about artistic details, however, the seer looks momentarily nonplussed; she mulls over that subject for several paces. "What was 'better'?" she asks at last, returning a question rather than an answer. "Better was in the eyes that saw. Or maybe the eyes that felt." Tamara falls quiet a moment, her gaze flicking aside, the bright cheer of her expression turning down several notches. "I liked the colors mostly," she muses, her tone now merely conversational. "And making was…" he hesitates momentarily; chooses her word with care. "…useful."

Veronica raises her brows at the offer of a secret, but then chuckles when Tamara's words are lost on her. For whatever reason — maybe because she's not really trying to do Institute work, for once not understanding something or someone doesn't frustrate the agent.

"I used to be very competitive. If I couldn't do something well, I just didn't do it. Now I guess I can see that for some things — like art — it's okay if it's not perfect. The making is what's important," she says, but the word useful makes her pause and she tips her head. "Oscar Wilde once said all art is useless. He didn't mean it as a criticism, though. Just that true art doesn't have to have a purpose. And if it has a use — besides being art — it's not true art." She lifts a shoulder. "I can take that or leave it, but it's an interesting theory. Art for art's sake." She smirks over at Tamara. "So are you artistic or are you useful? Or, would you say Wilde's wrong, and you're both?"

Tamara listens attentively while the other woman speaks, though — a truth she would not tell — many of the statements mean little to her. Around the time Veronica stops speaking, they come to a halt in front of the security chief's door, the seer turning to face her. Tamara's lips tug sideways in a crooked but amiable smile. "The question," she replies, leaning in and lowering her voice as if to share another secret, "is not was the mirror useful, but who to?"

Straightening, she extends the entire closed folder for Veronica to take. "The last one was for you. Don't let it fall out!" Then, once possession has been transferred, Tamara removes herself from the vicinity without so much as a word or wave in farewell, taking her watcher with her.

There's a tip of Veronica's head, that perplexed look on her face again at the question posed by the other woman.

She glances down at the proffered folder. "Thank you, Tamara," she says simply, not looking yet, and instead watching the woman leave. She huffs another soft not-quite laugh before pulling her keycard from where it is clipped to her shorts, sliding it into the door's slot. Once the green LEDs light up, she pushes her way into the room. It might be instinct or just the desire for privacy, but she doesn't turn on the lights — there's enough ambient light to see by, but should anyone be watching her, the darkness will help keep any secrets. She opens the folder — there is artwork, done in Tamara's hand. Whether it's artistic or not, Veronica's not one to judge.

What's beneath could be useful.

"What in the world…" Veronica murmurs, staring down at a near-stranger's photograph on a security badge marked Technical Maintenance.

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