Fortuneteller's Instincts


corbin_icon.gif lydia_icon.gif

Scene Title Fortuneteller's Instincts
Synopsis Outside of Wiley Schnook's "compound", Corbin interviews a fortuneteller and has a strange reason for trusting her instincts.
Date July 27, 2010


Light-feeling and breezier than when she'd gone in, Lydia steps outside the red brick building that houses the (r)Evo-lutionaries. Her steps are lighter than before and seemingly move with similar weight to her black chiffon dress above her knee. Sunglasses sit atop her head, acting as a kind of headband to keep her hair out of her face.

A smile edges her lips, and that feeling of relief just permeates her entire exterior. She hasn't felt a sense of belonging like that for some time. She pauses in front of the red brick building before placing her palm on the wall, making one last connection to this place today. Not that she won't be back tomorrow.

And when Corbin left yesterday, he didn't think he'd be back today— but there he is. Outside the red brick building, he stands there looking at it, talking softly to himself. "He seems so different when he's not onstage," he says, voice a soft whisper, before he spots a woman touching the wall of the building. Not really familiar, he didn't have enough time to survey the audience as a whole, but with her leaving the building—

"Excuse me," he says, as he steps forward, clearing a few feet in a quick stride. "Are you part of the group that lives here, or are you a visitor? I'm writing an article on the group, and Wiley Schnook, and I've been interviewing people…" A cover, but one that's legitimate. His Company cover had always been as a reporter— came with contacts a paper-man just couldn't get.

The voice snaps Lydia's attention from the building itself and her hand is quickly dropped from the wall while her gaze turns to Corbin. Her cheeks flush a pale pink hue as she steps away from it; it's an odd thing to be caught doing, really. Her lips edge slightly into that smile until she processes the word interviewing, which is when they fall into their generally neutral position.

A glance is given to the building and then back to Corbin as Lydia opens her mouth to speak, but she closes it moments later, remembering the foundation and principles on which this particular group relies. "I'm new as of today, actually. Or last night, maybe?" Her eyebrows furrow a little. "But I don't live here." There's a momentary pause as she presses her lips together, before adding, "I'm sure there are better people for you to interview…"

"Actually I interviewed a lot of people who have been with the group for quite some time," Corbin says, speaking with simple honesty. The best covers are the truest ones— he spoke to many his last few trips here. "But I didn't get to interview anyone who just showed up last night. I was there last night, too. I went to talk to the young woman who— tried to interupt the… sermon." It seems as if he doesn't know if that's the right word for it— though it may as well be.

"Even just getting your first impressions would be good." It would almost be better if he could have interviewed the same people before and after— but he'd hoped… "It can be anonymous," he adds, after a second. "Many of the people I interviewed prefered to be anonymous."

Lydia's dark eyes narrow at the interview comments, she's not one to trust reporters, not in the least. "She didn't try, Mister— (?), no, she succeeded in interrupting," her lips twitch into a gentle smile. "Perhaps not to the extent that she wanted, but she did succeed." Fingers comb through her long hair as she plucks the sunglasses from her forehead, but doesn't set them on her nose quite yet, opting to just grasp them for the time being.

"I'm not sure what you're look for… " her eyes close gently as she leans against the building and sucks in a slow breath.

"Ayers," Corbin says, filling in the last name with a smile, that almost makes dimples register, like the one clearly visible on his chin. "That's true— and she was the reason I left, because I wanted to hear her side, too." And some part of him wonders what would have happened if she disrupted it more. "I'm mostly wanting to know what about this man leads people to follow him, and donate money— I interviewed him privately, and he seemed a very different man than when he was up on stage."

Very different. "I mostly want to know if anyone else got this impression… At this point, the event last night— he was using persuasion. Perhaps he doesn't realize he's using it, but— I know he was. And my article could be damaging if I don't figure out what was going on."

The article he's not actually writing— though he is writing a report.

Features harden considerably at Corbin's words where she'd seemed lighter and airier, her shoulders have found a kind of weight on them again. It's not defensive, really, but discerning in a way. Lydia pushes herself off the wall and stares at the road, contemplating just walking, considering moving on rather than answering any questions or sharing impressions.

Her lips straighten into a kind of emotionless cool as her gaze returns to Corbin. "I know" there's a an odd weight to the word "Wiley Schnook is a good man, his intentions are pure, and he's passionate about finding a kind of peace between all people and. He's regretful about his past." Hugging herself, her eyebrows furrow. "And yes, perhaps he is different onstage than off, but… using persuasion?" Her head shakes just a little. "He's determined not to. I find it unlikely."

"Can I ask why you find it unlikely? Honestly until last night I would completely agree with you— when he told me he hadn't used his ability for two and a half years… I know he wasn't using it then," Corbin explains quietly, but suddenly looks away, off to the side, as if seeing something in the corner on his eye. Maybe a bug, or something. Surely not a woman in a red dress with yellow eyes who's hovering not too far away…

No, surely not.

With a shake of his head, he looks back. "How do you know this impression of him isn't just part of his ability? The young woman who stormed in, she's a registered Evolved— I looked her up, and her ability was referred to as Psychic Null. She could block telepaths and mental effects."

Eyes narrow as Lydia takes a small step back, almost calculating her escape route as her nose wrinkles, but she freezes. Her lips curl upwards just a little, almost smugly at the question. Her gaze shifts suspiciously, mirroring the direction where Corbin looks. Her eyebrows furrow when she sees nothing, her suspicion growing. Her weight shifts as she anticipates moving onward, but stops herself.

"Because I know," her eyebrows knit together further. Her cheeks flush a little and the hand not holding her sunglasses rakes through her sandy-coloured hair. "Some of us just understand other people better than others." Pause. "More reliably than others." She presses her lips together again as her weight shifts, but she manages to stay put despite her propensity to flee, "I'm a fortune teller of sorts, I read people very well. It's my livelihood Mister Ayers. And there are some things no one can lie about."

A fortune teller… Corbin doesn't argue her instincts, or her suspicious glances, looking serious, and also sympathetic. "There's a lot going on here that you don't know about— but instincts are important, especially someone who made a living off of reading people…"

After he says this, he glances away again, at nothing, as he says, "I knew a fortune teller for quite some time— she read tarot. But she always refused to read me. She'd start laughing as she laid the cards out, so despite having a best friend who read tarot, I never actually got a reading before." A strange tangent, but one with meaning.

"I read tarot." Not as much lately, but it's a truth nonetheless. "Some things we hide from ourselves and others. The cards expose them," Lydia follows his gaze a little easier this time. "Within the cards we can know our own hopes, dreams, desires, and fears— all important in defining who we are. Yet paradoxically, we conceal these things from ourselves." Involuntarily her lips curl upwards, "Perhaps the cards rung too true for your friend and you weren't ready to hear the truth. She could read you without them."

She lets a few moments of silence wash between them before affirming, "Schnook isn't a bad man. His intentions are pure, and he doesn't want to use his ability. He's almost afraid of it. I guarantee and promise you, Mister Ayers, if he's using persuasion, it's not by his design."

"That sounds about right— we spent a long time lying to ourselves about… everything," Corbin says quietly, looking off into nothing for quite some time again, before he focuses on the rest of what she'd said. Wiley Schnook isn't using his ability of his own design, so says the fortune teller. It would never pass a court ruling, and he's not even sure the Company would buy it, but it pushes him in another direction…

The crimes are all money related. The man in charge of the money is someone different. The man in charge of the money is Wiley Schnook's most trusted friend, a former DHS deskman and…

He looks back at her, as if he suddenly just had a lightbulb come on. "I think you're right. I'm going to dig a little deeper on this, and— think maybe I could get a tarot reading from you someday?"

"I know I'm right. I am… " Lydia glances up at the sky before moving the sunglasses to her eyes and combing her fingers through her hair, "…gifted at such things." A kind of knowing smile pulls at her lips as she shifts her weight to walk around Corbin before reaching into a pocket of her dress.

She pauses just shy of him before reaching into one of the pockets of her dress and extracting a business card. Behind those sunglasses her eyes glint with that same knowing, and perhaps a little more mischief, but they're relatively hidden behind the tinted lenses. "It would be my pleasure to give you a reading." The card is held out for him expectantly.

"I trust people with gifts," Corbin admits, glancing away again, but then frowning and looking around, as if whatever he'd been looking at had suddenly moved, or hopped away— in fact it had. He doesn't see the tiny woman lurking behind him, peeking over his shoulder. Not even when he looks back. Not until he jumps a bit.

Ghosts should not whisper in people's ears at bad times. It's hard to look normal— everyone probably already thinks he's crazy (or at least not all there).

Trying to shake it off, he reaches out to take the card. "I look forward to it— I don't think I ever got your name, though…" he says, as he glances down at the card, to see if it's there.

As he takes take the card, Corbin's hand brushes Lydia's. Behind the sunglasses her eyes narrow, eyebrows furrow just a stitch, and her lips move into a downward frown. Goosebumps form along her arms as her lips part slightly into a curious pout. Tilting her head a little further, she reaches forward to give his hand a shake, that really will be more like a squeeze, "Lydia…." the introduction is a little odd and perhaps a little perplexed, almost suggesting she doesn't know her own name.

"Mister Ayers… You… are… different…" Her lips tighten into a rather forced smile, so forced, in fact, her eyebrows remain weighted by that strange curiosity.

"I think that means it'll be an interesting reading," Corbin admits quietly, despite the whispering going on in his ear. "And you can call me Corbin, Miss Lydia." Despite the addition of the 'Miss' it's not said to be insulting at all. She's younger than him, though not really by much. And he's sure that it will, indeed, be an interesting reading when it happens.

"I'll let you know when I find out who's using Mr. Schnook, but I think I have an idea who it might be. I just need to get some evidence so that an innocent man isn't persecuted."

Which… will probably include… a few things.

And an at-home Evolved Test Kit.

"I'll call you soon," he adds, as he pulls his hand back to pocket the card.

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