Diplomacy, Spy Craft, and IHOP


samara2_icon.gif alia_icon.gif

Scene Title Diplomacy, Spy Craft, and IHOP
Synopsis A slightly less then legal meeting between two people, with interesting components abound
Date March 21, 2011

East Harlem IHOP

Lazily sun peeks into the IHOP in East Harlem. Bright beams of sunlight cut through the window of the booth-table at which Samara sits. It had taken a great deal of coordination to come here with Koshka missing and the babies to look after, but with some juggling it was decided. It's moments like these that Sam truly wishes she had Brian's ability— it would make looking after the kiddies super easy.

The trek to Harlem had been easy enough. And she'd been careful to wear exactly what she'd said she would, carrying the book she said she'd carry, thereby making her easy to identify— namely her grey skirt, loose-fitting red blouse, and her black peacoat— which was purposely left undone— for warmth.

The stack of waffles in front of her is far higher than someone her size would typically eat, but in light of her recent events she feels like she's entitled to all of them. Assuming she wants them. Not that she really knows yet. Depends how she feels. The waffles themselves are as decorated as waffles can be: whipped cream, caramel sauce, pecans, and strawberries (the strawberries don't really mesh well with the other flavours).

A little uncomfortably she shifts her copy of Charles Dickens' Christmas Carol aside— an oddity to see this time of year, quite distant from Christmas. But then it's an identifier. A book out of season is a book not normally seen.

Alia slips into the establishment, a hooded gray sweatshirt with a backwards facing copyright c in blue, a darker gray jacket, a simple set of jeans, a backpack, and sunglasses covering her identity as she sits down at the same table as Samara. She nods to the waitress as she approaches and makes a very simple, very neat order.

"stack of chocolate chip pancakes, large chocolate milk." in fact is all she says until the waitress is out of earshot. "You are Samara?" Alia's sentences are short, and too the point. She pulls a copy of WIRED magazine from her backpack to put on the table. THe agreed upon signs to match signs. Much like networking, spywork depends on complex 'handshakes' to start communication of.

There's a flicker of a smile as she's acknowledged by the other woman. Sam's eyes scan Alia's appearance, granting a more permanent curl of lips as she nods faintly. Her smile extends, allowing a small flash of teeth— a nearly awkward smile at the circumstances in which the two women find themselves. "Sam," she gives a one shouldered shrug. "Or Sami, I guess. If you prefer." She shrugs again as her fork descends into the stack of waffles. Mmmmm. Waffles.

You're Alia," it's not a question. Her eyebrow is arched as she brings her own milk to her lips. "Thanks for meeting me. I— " there's a pregnant pause as she clears her throat "— guess Cat probably told you what's going on…"

The young lady nods as she removes the sunglasses after her plate is delivered. She takes a bite before speaking softly. "Husband called. Need him found. You have the phone? Number still in memory? It won't be instant. Might take time." ALia admits this quietly. There were only so many hours in the day… and as Alia had learned, sleeping is a guilty pleasure that she might someday not be so able to do…

"I understand. I will give my all." Alia says this with a simple sincerity, perhaps trying to make up for the brevitity of her statements.

Sam reaches into her shoulder bag which is left comfortably on the booth next to her. Rather than specifically giving the phone number, she runs through her incoming calls and scrolls down to one that had come— what feels like— too long ago. Swallowing hard, she passes the cellphone back to Alia. "This is the one." There's a pause as she feels the need to correct, perhaps for her own feelings rather than any actual misunderstanding, "And we're not married; he's my fiancee," her cheeks flush slightly as she shakes her head. Perhaps it's not an important detail, but in many respects, to Sami, it's one of the most important details.

"Thank you," she manages softly as her lips purse together slightly. Tears are too easy, but waffles are a treat. She plunges her fork into the sweet goodness and slices a small bite-sized piece which is easily shovelled into her mouth.

Alia bows her head. "Words… not my strong point." Alia admits, as she gives the phone a good hard stare a moment. She digs out a notepad and writes down the listed number and time… as well as the phone's digital fingerprint. "Welcome." Alia takes another bite of her pancakes.

There is a slight pause. "Can't promise anything. But will try to locate phone call came from. Should, hopefully, still be close." She doesn't add looking up the owner, or finding out when the phone was issued, assuming it's ont a pay as you go phone. If it is it'll be a lot more dicey trying to track it down.

"It's fine. Words aren't really my strong point either, but maybe in a different way. I kind of.. use them too often. I know it's weird. I just tend to keep talking. And talking. And talking. Because it's easier than silence after so much silence where only Rue could hear me all I want is a little noise not that I wasn't a chatterbox before because I was except I think maybe it got worse without the stimulation of actually getting to talk. My mom and dad and pretty much all of my family used to tell me I talked too much, which was a sign I should be considering shuttin— " Sami's lips then clamp closed. Mostly because she realizes she's rambling. It's an odd recognition, but she's getting more on task with it.

Her lips press together as she leans forward to watch Alia do her thing, not that there's necessarily much to see. But she does add, "Ernesto. The phone belongs to a man named Ernesto. Brian told me that much…"

Alia jots the name down as she nods. "… Expressive Language Disorder. Effects me more… in head, then when out of it." THat likely makes little sense, but Alia isn't in the mood to try giving a demonstration of that trick. She hands the phone back. "Is there… other things, you need assistance with?" Alia's words are soft, sympathetic. "Cat… and Cardinal. Both hard to work with, in their ways. Hard people. Mean well, not always able to show it."

Sami hmmms quietly as Alia doesn't quite explain her disorder, but she does manage a slow nod. She can buy a vague explanation, there is something to be said for the effort itself. The name Cardinal, however, causes her smile to fall. She swallows hard as she cuts another slides of her waffle with a frown. "He said it was his fault. I don't know if Cat told you that." The frown deepens as she shakes her head, "He was disrespectful. And I know Brian is friends with him or whatever, buuuut— " she shrugs slightly. "He didn't apologize. I know that might not be a big deal to some people, but…" she shakes her head again only to hmmm, considering the other. "Cat is.. stoic, but was understanding. Cardinal was not, even though he, apparently, caused it."

Alia holds up a finger. "no." She sighs. "Zeke, is not Cardnial. Once he was, maybe, another him. Not our him." Alia looks at the window at a thought, a very scary one for her. "… can we be responsible, for a different us? One that has been through different things?" She shakes her head… the smile is gone from her face too, as she looks at the pancakes… and suddenly just pushes the plate to one side a little, apparently not hungry anymore.

"But it was Cardinal that hatched the plan in the first place. Can you tell me it's not twisted for someone to imagine ways to hurt or transform those around us? I was dead for four years," it's an easier explanation for the truth, "and maybe I kept some of my teenage innocence or something, but thinking about scenarios where other people get hurt? Not cool. Not where I come from— and I come from Chicago which isn't like happy-go-lucky fairyland— people don't do that." Sam's eyebrows arch expectantly. "If people are going to dream up ways to hurt each other we've already given into distrust and hate."

Alia looks at Sami quietly, then looks at the plate, before speaking. "… Was held, in a computer, by the DoEA, for two months. AI made based off of me, we think. At best. At worst, a clone of me. Running the next drones." She keeps her voice very low. "… If it meant stopping it? Blow up the place. Put out anti-me virus. THe works." She admits this calmly… but sadly. "I hope not to. Hope for best. Plan for worst. Is the only reason some of us are alive." She doesn't add that she keeps an overpowered laser pointer in her jacket pocket in case of Cardinal going off the deep end, or the concealed rapier in her backpack, with a tazer built into the hilt, meant as a specific way to disable Adam Monroe. "Just because plan for the worst…Doesn't mean lack of trust."

"When plans are for the worst, don't they breech trust? I mean, ultimately people are responsible for their own ideas, their own thoughts, their own plans? I don't know. I'm not a philosopher. Not really. Never went to college. So I have no real answers for anything. I just.." Sami's cheeks flush a bright pink. "It wasn't even a plan for the worst on Cardinal's part. It was selfish. He admitted it." Her fingers drum against the table next to her plate, "He admitted fault while managing to dodge regret." And hell hath no fury. "I wouldn't call it planning for the worst, not the way he framed it."

Alia looks quietly at Sami, then gently puts a hand on her shoulder. "… I understand. I won't bring up again." She sighs. Can't solve them all sometimes. "And… responsbile for our actions? yes. our thoughts? If so, all be doing time." Alia is under no disillusion about the fact that every human has had thoughts. "You, perhaps, for what, in your mind, you would do to Cardinal." Alia stands up slowly. "I'll be in touch." She sets down enough straight up cash to cover her bill, as well as a modest tip, even as she picks up her bag and notebook, and heads for the door.

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