For Art's Sake


monica_icon.gif quinn3_icon.gif tasha_icon.gif

Scene Title For Art's Sake
Synopsis Curiosity brings three women together again the morning after strange happenings in Midtown.
Date May 24, 2011

Ruins of Midtown

The perimeter of midtown where last night's strange events took place is no cheerier by the light of the morning; if anything, without night's cloak to hide it, the ruined neighborhood looks all the more gloomy, scarred and ruined in the gray-tinted sunlight, the clouds threatening rain at any moment.

The light will obscure the gleam of any green robotic eyes peering at them from dark alleys, if any should be lying in wait, as well. That it was before curfew that the robotic creature was seen, Tasha Renard is not confident that the robots won't be lurking in the daylight either, but curiosity can sometimes be a greater motivator than fear. There's also the fear of her finals on Thursday and Friday — for which she needs the books she'd flung down the alley, which is part of why she's here as well. It's at least a better excuse than "I'm just curious," after all.

The buddy system is once more in effect, with Quinn alongside her, as the two young women approach the alley they'd fled the night before. The tarp-covered rectangles are still there, and Tasha the artist caught enough of a glimpse of the corner of one to know it was a painting — if she were told the brand of the night-vision shade of green acrylic paint she'd seen, she could likely tell you its precise name by maker, or if not, how to achieve that hue with her personally-favored brand.

""They're still here," she says, moving to the parcels — if the book bag is still in the alley, she hasn't noticed it.

Monica, however, doesn't do the buddy system very often. But this time, she's also not hopping along the rooftop to get here. Her arm prevents that sort of thing. But, it's hard to tell how bad the burns are, since she's wearing a long sleeved shirt. It's a man's shirt, and it doesn't quite fit, but it's comfortable.

Although the white makes her look a lot less stealthy than the night before. But she'll live.

Curiosity has driven her here, too, as she caught sight of something in that alley last night. Something besides the robot, that is. But as she arrives in the mouth of the alley, there's already someone else heading for the boxes. She didn't get a good enough look at anyone to be able to tell it's a return visitor, but she can guess well enough. "If only I'd been five minutes faster," she comments, to make her presence known. It's a bad part of town to be sneaking up on people, after all.

"Huh. You were right." Quinn had been sceptical as to there actually being paintings are whatever left behind. But she had been curious enough to come - not to mention, she wanted to prove she was a better buddy than Tasha (No, she hadn't let that go. She doesn't often get the chance to toss lighthearted ribbing the younger woman's way!). Plus, well, either way she couldn't let Tasha wander in to get her books alone. That's just rude.

With no need to be sheding light, Quinn is on guard for a different task, should any more of those robots decide to pop up and say "hi" with a kiss of flame. She has her pistol again, and as ready to, at as much of a notice moments as she can, turn Tasha (or herself, if she can actually manage it this time) invisible should something return. There's no thought that maybe these things ahve heat vision, Quinn has other things on her mind.

Spotting the backpack while Tasha makes her way over to the paintings, Quinn smirks a bit and begins to mosey in it's direction. "You think he stashed them here?

Tasha's head jolts up at Monica's greeting, and she straightens from where she's crouched by the paintings, before she recognizes Monica from last night. "Oh, hey," she says a little uncertainly. "Are you okay?" The last she saw, the woman was on fire and climbing a wall before disappearing from view.

Shifting one foot a bit nervously — can they examine the paintings with the stranger there? Though there's something familiar about the woman. The toe of her Converse nudges something that skitters a few feet away, causing the teen to suck in a gasp before looking down frantically. It's not a robot, but another piece of technology that ends up closer to Monica than Tasha: a cell phone.

"I'm… alive. My arm's had better days, but it'll be okay." Monica dips down to pick up the cell phone, taking it as an excuse to step closer. "I was hoping to get a better look at what the heck was going on in this alley," she says, explaining her presence, even though it's probably not needed, as she passes the phone back toward Tasha. "Good to see you guys got away clear. When I saw the light down here, I thought we were all busted for sure."

Quinn never got a really good look at the woman the previous night, so when Monica makes her presenec know, Quinn spins around awkwardly on her heel, like she's not sure what to expect. The fact that Tasha seems to relaxes her significantly. "Hey…" is offered a bit nervously - Quinn's pretty sure she recognises her, but she's smart enough not to just out and ask "Oh hey were you on Pollepel a while back?" Shifting a bit, she leans down and retrieves Tasha's bag, slinging it over her shoulder. "We're good," she confirms, watching as Monica takes up the phone. "We were mostly wondering teh same thing. I kinda wanted t' make sure taht guy didn't fall back down somewhere around here and pass out, too."

The phone is looked at, and Tasha isn't above poking through its files before raising a brow. "He is that weather guy. Trev Teasdale. This is his phone. I wonder if he painted these or what." She passes the phone to Quinn. "I wonder if he needs our kinda help at all… why would a weather guy be in Midtown? Is he in trouble?"

A nod is given to the paintings. "Let's see what's in these… I can't imagine they're Picassos or anything." The petite teen moves to the one she'd spied the night before, beginning to unwrap the tarp; the revealed corner is a bit soggy, the paint rubbing green on Tasha's hands as she deals with the bulky rectangle, eventually sliding enough of the tarp off to unveil the scene depicted on the canvas: seemingly from the perspective of one below, two masked faces peer down, a sign reading applause visible between their heads. Below them, the perspective seems to be coming from something black and v-shaped, with a jagged edging.

Tasha's lips flatten into a thin line and she steps back and straightens, hands shaking before she tucks them into her pockets.

"Picasso it's not…" she murmurs.

Monica tilts her head as the painting is revealed, and she frowns a bit. "If this is more future paintings, I'm gonna smack somebody, I swear," she says before she straightens up to look over at the girls again. "Hey," she says back to Quinn, her smile a little sheepish. "Yeah, I didn't catch the guy, but— weather guy? I don't really do… TV. He was somebody famous? Wandering Midtown? With robots?" That’s a little weird.

Future paintings gets a grimace from Quinn. “No. No, no. No more of that shit, please,” she remarks with a growing frown as she looks up at Monica, then to the painting. “I wouldn’t say famous,” and Quinn has to stop just short of saying not as famous as me, anyway. No, she doesn’t have an ego, why do you ask? “But he’s definitely the guy from TV… weird.”

She rolls her shoulders a bit, leaning back on her heels as she looks over at Tasha. “What do you make of it? Certainly is kinda, uh…. depressing looking. Though I can’t really blame anyone for wantin’ t’ paint something that’s less than exciting…” These days, anyway.

Tasha’s own artwork has taken a turn for the depressed, so she doesn’t comment on the morbid nature of the art. She tilts her head and shakes her head. “It’s not… I don’t know. It’s rather literal looking for … you know. Artsy art.” She clearly needs more classes to articulate what she means more eloquently. “And it’s not … pretty enough to be, like, decorator art…” The stuff people hang over their fireplace to match their sofas.

“That looks like a body bag,” she adds, touching the V-shape of inky blackness, before moving to the next of the parcels and beginning to unwrap it. “Here, take photos of the first one with my phone…” she suggests to Quinn, pulling out the iPhone and handing it to the other woman before pulling at the tarp of the second painting. “I don’t think we can lug these all the way… you know, home. We can just maybe hide them somewhere, and tell people about them.”

The next, a little smaller in dimensions than the first, is primarily orangeish red in color, with two silhouetted men standing in front of what looks to be a fire. Vague brushstrokes and squiggles suggest a hand reaching up from the flames between the two men and a skull in the lower right corner. Tasha swallows once the painting is uncovered, laying on its tarp, and glances up at the other two women with wide eyes.

“It’s pretty bleak looking…” she says, then shrugs. “But maybe it’s his depiction of the 8th or something? I wonder if he painted these. We should check the Registry later, see if he’s registered as anything…” like a precog. She glances at the last parcel, and it’s clear her curiosity has waned a bit. Picassos would be much more exciting.

“I second that, but you know. Lately the future thing seems to be— well. You just never know, weirdo paintings hanging around.” Monica lifts a shoulder to Quinn there, with a bit of a sigh. If anyone’s tired of precog artwork, it’s her. She’s been in them, even.

“Can’t say I’m too surprised at any artist feeling in the mood to be a little morose these days. Could just be, ya know, art for art’s sake. But then, why out here? That’s a little weird, right?” Nevermind that all three of them are out here right now.

“Christ…” Quinn trails off a bit as she looks at the second one, her head tilting a bit. “Someone needs to throw this guy a party or somethin’. Help cheer him up.” A look over to the phone, and then Quinn steps up next to Tasha, pulling out what appears to be the final painting of the set. She feels a bit of a chill as she reaches for it, sighing. “If this guy is a precog, I’d kinda rather actually… talk t’ him. I mean, we should at least give his phone back.”

At first, Quinn isn’t even sure there’s something painted on the last one - as she pulls it out, it just looks black. But revealing more of it brings a strange image into view, of an unnatural, skeletal creature that almost blends in with the dark background, over top of and seemingly biting into a vauge, brighter human shaped form - a woman, if Quinn had to guess from what looks like a large mass of hair. A piece of paper of some sort lays still on the ground next to the shape, and Quinn simply looks at it, studying it for moment
Of them all, this is the one that unnerves her most, and the look on her face radiates that uneasiness. “Scratch that. I don’t think I want t’ talk t’ him anymore…”

Tasha takes her phone back as Quinn unveils the last painting, and snaps pictures of the first two, making sure to get the full view and then details of the various components of the compositions, knowing the cell phone quality won’t do them ‘justice,’ if that’s the right word. She turns to the last, surveying the midnight blue and black and paler blue tones, and reaches to trace some darker shapes behind the robotic skeleton. “These look like people, too…” she says quietly, then stares down at the feminine form.

Sighing, she takes a few more photos with her iPhone and then shoves it into her pocket and begins to wrap the paintings back up. Glancing up at Quinn, then Monica, she looks indecisive. “I don’t really wanna trot these around with the chance of more robots coming out… we can stow them somewhere closeby, maybe…? I don’t… I guess we can just stick ‘em somewhere, and if that newsguy wants to come back for them, he can, but we need to tell the powers that be about them.”

Glancing down the alleyway, she notes a dumpster — contents overflowing with nothing of use, anything useful having been gleaned long ago by vagrants and the destitute. “We can stick it behind there, maybe? Unless you think we should bring these… you know where.” A furtive glance is thrown toward Monica — she’s Ferry friend and knows of their secretest hiding spot, but Tasha isn’t sure she knows of their safehouse here in Midtown.

And whether she knows or not… she’s also not bringing up any of the safehouses. A little paranoia goes a long way. “You know… there’s a lot of little hiding places around here. Since people don’t— well most times people don’t come poking around Midtown very often. But if you guys don’t mind venturing into some mildly unstable buildings, you can pretty much tuck them away anywhere. If you don’t want them to just up and disappear when the newsman comes back.” Monica nods her head toward the building right next to them, which just so happens to be the one she climbed up the night before when she was on fire. “Or rooftops, if you’re really feeling adventurous.”

“If we stick it somewhere, like… near the edge of Midtown, back near Greenwich? I can get a car an’ take ‘em back t’ my place or somethin’.” Quinn shrugs a bit, propping the painting up so that the others could get a better look at it. “Whatever works. I don’t have anythin’ planned for t’day…” She rolls her shoulders a bit, moving to lean against the wall, laughing.

“Buildings I can handle. You’re not gettin’ me up on any rooftops. I’ll take a wrong step an’ tumble right off, an’ unlike some people I’ve met, I can’t fly or stick t’ walls.” She looks up the wall across from her, up towards the sky. “I could call someone about stashing them, but we should probably keep this between as few people as possible right now, I think.” A beat. “Well, the painting part. We should probably telle veryone we can about the teeny little mobile flamethrowers. An’ t’ keep an eye out for that guy, in case he needs help.”

Tasha nods. “Well, if there his paintings, I don’t mind if he gets them back — I wonder what he was doing with them out here though. But yeah, let’s… stash them somewhere nearby instead of the car thing — after all, it’d draw more attention probably to bring ‘em in to town?” She finishes wrapping up the painting she’s working on. “They’re heavier than they look … This one’s as tall as I am,” she says with a smirk — it’s almost true.

Once all three paintings are wrapped back in their tarps, it takes the three of them another fifteen minutes to lug them to a forgotten nook of the broken neighborhood. Teasdale’s phone is pocketed, and goodbyes are said, before Tasha and Quinn separate from Monica and make their way to Grand Central to report their findings.




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