From Sullen Earth


kaylee2_icon.gif luther2_icon.gif

Scene Title From Sullen Earth
Synopsis In the privacy of Kaylee's office, she shares the disturbing vision with new Head of Physical Security, Luther, in hopes of figuring out how to one day waive off the dark prophecy.
Date March 30, 2018

Raytech NYC Safe Zone Branch Office, Kaylee's Office

Unlike her brother’s office, Kaylee’s office has more of the an antique feel, though like Richard her office has a lot of plants. While there are more modern elements her furniture is clearly antique and handmade. Very few people know about the telepath’s journey into the past, which in its way influenced her office. To someone like Luther, she just happens to like old things.

There are three crates lined up along one of her office walls, one is pried open revealing a painting of some countryside somewhere. It looks old, much like the furniture.

Though the most disturbing thing, would be the human skull sitting on her desk, staring out at the office door. Most notably, it still has all of its teeth.

Being a Friday, Kaylee is a little more casual. While she still has on a tailored coat, a deep red blouse, and sensible flat; she is also wearing a pair of dark blue jeans. She has even let her hair down today, which means there are no business client meetings today or she doesn’t rate Luther as someone she has to dress super fancy for.

When he arrives to her office, she stands there with a hip leaning on the ledge of the long bay of windows and arms crossed watching the world outside. Her expression is full of anxiety and worry.

He doesn’t have to say a word, as soon as he moves into her mental net, Kaylee knows he’s there. She knows him by the hum of his mind, just like she know others. “Thank you for coming to see me, Mr. Bellamy.” She finally pulls her gaze from the window and gives him a small smile, though it doesn’t quite reach her eyes. “Shut the door behind you, please.”

Whatever, she summoned him for… it must be important.

Having spent the week since their return reacquainting himself with the Raytech building in a different light, Luther has not yet spent that time to reacquaint himself with the look and role of what one would normally consider as Head of Physical Security. The man approaches Kaylee’s office dressed in polo shirt bearing the Raytech logo and slacks typical of the usual employee. So, not super fancy at all.

He’s also not really prepped to think about coming into the psychic field of a telepath; the man’s mind is an open, if simple book to read. There’s nervousness too, anticipation, but also a running mantra of keeping calm and focus on the present. And to take a bit of comfort in the fact that he does know the building well, the parts that he has access to anyway. He thinks she’s calling him up to talk to him about security.

That’s pretty important. “Miss Ray,” he greets her back, doing as bidden to shut the door behind him with a soft click of the latch. A slow scan of his eyes examines the room and there’s something of an appreciation for the antique decor. Unlike her smile, his does reach his eyes, a squinting of crow’s feet at the ends. “Nice office,” he feels the need to comment, a light nod of his head going to the large pieces.

Lucky for Luther, Kaylee has a certain ethic when it comes to her ability, as soon as she realizes how open his mind is, she braces up the mental wall between them, bringing thoughts down to an unrecognizable murmur. “Thank you,” Her smile brightens a little more with the compliment. “Unlike Richard, I like warmth,” she jokes lightly. “New recruits or candidates seem to relax more when it feels a little more like… well, a parlour.”

She motions for him to have a seat, though Kaylee doesn’t move to do so. Anxiety makes it tough to just sit in one place. “I wish this was a pleasant visit,” she starts, her expression apologetic. “I’m also sorry that your job is about to get a little more serious.” The heels of her shoes click softly on the linoleum of the office floor as she slowly paces. “While Richard and I were at the auction, we received some intel that… well, to put it truthfully… it’s terrifying.”

Kaylee sighs turning, back toward the Security Head, “This is why we had security stepped up. I’m just sorry, that I took so long to pull you aside about this.” She really is. “I know it is no excuse, but there has been a lot going on and I wasn’t sure how to… explain it.”

There’s definitely a certain lack of awareness on Luther’s part of all the things that go in and out mentally, up until Kaylee’s mental hand stops the revolving door. His smile doesn’t abate, and he even laughs along with her because the comment about Richard, well. “Old habits die hard,” intones Luther, “style tastes even harder.”

He sits as he’s bidden, though the moment she seems more anxious and paces is the moment his eyes find the macabre decoration of the human skull on her desk. That drops the smile off Luther’s face immediately, replaced with a thinned line of his mouth. She can see his own shoulders tense underneath his shirt. “If you have a reason to believe that there’s a threat,” he starts to say, but his words don’t finish. Of course she has a reason. It’s written into her posture, and the way she moves.

Instead of finishing the phrase, Luther exhales slowly. “You and Richard both don’t make it easy on a guy, do you.” His upper body leans forward, elbows planting on his knees and hands interweaving fingers. Luther’s gaze looks down at those hands. “What is it that you’re concerned about, Miss Kaylee?”

“Raytech is a target for… someone. Three gunmen are going to enter the building and kill a lot of us and take Mr. Harrison.” Kaylee says with no hesitation and a sigh, frustration clear. “Honestly, Luther, I never thought something like this would come up again…” even though it seems like things were in the works, it still surprised her.

The telepath doesn’t close the distance back to her desk and him, though she notices the look he gives the skull. She lets her gaze linger on the bleached bone surface. “I’m not sure how familiar you are with Eve Mas… She is precognitive, usually puts her visions on canvas.” Looking at Luther she says a little hesitant, “This time, she shared her dream with me.” Arms unwind so that she can tap the side of her head; a single light tap.

Teeth catch at Kaylee’s lower lip, worrying it a little, before she adds an offer…. “I can show it to you if you want…. Sometimes, things make more sense when you… have access to it.”

The man looks up when she mentions that Raytech is a target. When she mentions gunmen, and killing. Luther turns his gaze to her, leaving the skull to be creepy decor where it sits on her desk. Brows tick up with a distant recognition of the name spoken, Eve Mas. A memory echoes in his mind. Wild hair, battle dress,… a rubber duck.

“Holy shit, Ducky’s alive?” The words blurt out of him before he can stop them, the man sitting up straighter. He shakes his head in disbelief. “‘Course she is,” he then rumbles as he too pushes up to his feet. “You, ah, you know her too then. Yeah, she and I ran into each other a few times years ago. Saved my ass more than once.” There’s a feeling that he’d probably gotten burnt a couple of times too. Luther’s hand wraps on the back of his neck, still working through the initial surprise. And then he catches the woman’s offer belatedly, and he stills in movement.

A long, still moment passes. “Does it hurt?” he asks tentatively. He glances down to the chair he’s stood from, then back to Kaylee, a second question implied. Maybe he should sit down for this?

The nickname amuses her, getting a small huffed chuckle. “I have known Eve for sometime… though not always in a good way,” Kaylee admits blandly, about the seeress. “And, she is alive and as wild and unpredictable as ever. She own the Cat’s Cradle over in Phoenix Heights if you are wanting to track her down.”

His question gets an odd look from Kaylee, something that is a mix of amusement and a touch of exasperation. He’s never dealt with her ability before, so she can forgive him. Clearly, she has dealt with that question, many time. “No,” she states simply with a soft chuckle. “It’ll be odd. You’ll probably get to watch that vision in real time, while I add it to your memories.” As she explains she slowly approaches, a touch cautious; as if would he might startle if she moves to fast.

“It does, however, require contact… here.” She reaches up and touches her own temple, as she looks up at him. Kaylee seems thoughtful as she watches his reaction, head tilting slightly. “Just a simple touch of fingers.” This is the simpler transfer…. He is spared the full immersion experience that many know her for.

“I’ve heard of it,” Luther says when she mentions Cat’s Cradle, although it’s obvious it hasn’t occurred to him to drop in there. The man nods slowly, even if his expression reads as being filled with skepticism about her claim that it’s not painful. If anything, it’s that wariness that she’s noted in him that radiates from him as much as the natural heat his body gives off from his ability. “The, uh, vision. Is it…” He searches for the right term to describe it, but doesn’t find what he wants to say. So eventually he drops off the thought, instead gazing down at the telepath once she’s approached, close enough to touch.

Luther’s chest rises and falls, his breathing slows, grey eyes focused on hers. What fear might tingle in his gut reaction is tamped down. “Okay,” he utters in a short consent.

Hands are rubbed together, this close, her voice is quiet… no need to speak up, “Is it violent? Is it disturbing?” Kaylee she gives a small inclination of her head, before she reaches up. The tips of her fingers touch lightly to his temples.

Her smile tugs to one side at the warmth of his skin, amusement. “Your ability keeps your body temperature up?” Small talk to try and relax him a little, but still he can feel that first brush of her ability. “I can’t even count on both hands how many times I wished I could do that…. Make those rundown safehouses a little more bearable.” The mental brush is just a precaution… never know what might be hidden within someone’s mind without their knowing.

“Alright… Brace yourself,” Kaylee half jokes, eyes closing so she can concentrate. He only gets a moment, before she started to weave the vision into his memories. The touch is light, almost non-existent, but it’s like he remembers clearly watching this vision.

Weird, might be the word Luther was looking for. A euphemistic term, to say the least. But he doesn’t complete the question, instead bracing both physically and perhaps mentally as well when she reaches up to touch his temple. There’s a slight twitch of the side where she’s touched him, and the attempt to relax him does a bit. “It’s a little hellish in the summertime,” he rumbles in response, though she can feel him slowly pulling away from the present physical moment to focus on the odd sensation of her mental brush into his mind.

Her eyes close, but his do not, instead narrowing to a half-lidded state that leaves his vision unfocused and staring to a middle distance.

«There… now you know what we know.» The voice is recognizably hers, though as the words echo in his mind, they are hollow and tinny. There is a flash of mischief across her features. «Now… let me show you what I can do…»

Next thing Luther knows he is standing in the lobby of Raytech, where the vision began. Not just the lobby, he recognizes it from the vision. It is a bit surreal since all the people and the smoke within it are frozen in time. Kaylee sits perched on the receptionist’s desk, hands pressed against the surface as she leans forward, barefeet are hooked at the ankles and swinging a little — thumbing against the wood. Probably a little disturbing that there is carnage around her… especially a dead Sera, just behind her. The telepath isn’t even wearing her business attire anymore, but a white sundress, light and airy, which seems immune to the blood on the desk

Kaylee’s head tilts a little, like a cat watching something interesting — watching him. Watching his reaction. Did she go too far?

«Not many people know about this part of my ability. Not even the Government. To them, I am simply a mind reader.» Nothing more.. Ssssecrets and liesss. A second voice seems to echo behind her words… barely even noticeable, a softly whispered hiss of sound in the background. «Even when I was with the Ferry, only the council and a select few knew about it.» In other words, this is a gesture of trust.

With a flick of Kaylee’s wrist, the scene rewinds and stops at the beginning, where the vision started for Eve. «Thought you might like a closer look.» Clossssser look..

Physically, the man is stock still and unblinking as they take the journey into his mind. Mentally, Luther finding himself standing in the middle of the Raytech lobby with Kaylee perched on the front desk in a white sundress makes him stare wide-eyed at her, then down to himself. His clothing is a bit messy in comparison, a stained tee shirt layered over with a large coat, heavy duty jeans, boots. The stuff he used to wear for years when he was a vagrant. In a way, his mental image of himself is still in that mindset, unsettled, keeping to a theme of comfortable and easily missed in the average day-to-day fray of life.

He lifts a hand to examine, testingly, finding his ability working even in this environment. And why wouldn’t it? It stands to reason. But, when he looks up at Kaylee again, his brow knits with his everpresent expression as if he’s understanding, but feeling like he’s missed something important. “You trust me with this?” he questions her, but he doesn’t act to stop her. The second voice, the quiet hissing echo, unsettles him somewhere deeply but he merely curls his hand into a loosely held fist and walks over to where Kaylee sits on the desk. He turns, facing outward with her beside him, and nods once. He’s ready now. So he thinks.

«Do you think I shouldn't?» Kaylee asks a brow ticking up with her query, amusement pulling the corner of her mouth into a smile. The whisper is strangely silent for that moment. The smile slowly slides away, as the telepath turns serious; while blue eyes study him as he approaches. «I-» Brows furrow a little as she looks away and to the frozen gunmen. «I am not sure why, but I feel I can trust you, Luther.» Why? That whispers echos softly behind her words.

"No you shouldn't," comes Luther's reply with a blanket of flat doubt. It's a recognition of how green he is to the abilities pertaining to mental powers. His own, he understands, works with, has studied at least to a physically experienced level. Does he know how it works down to a molecular level? No. But the telepath's power, memory manipulation or transfer, this is so very new and unfamiliar. He's a newborn deer fumbling over an ice pond and he knows it. A part of him is merely glad that Kaylee is there to walk him across the treacherous terrain. "But I'm honored you do."

There is a small shake of her head and a smile at his words. «I appreciate your honesty.» Kaylee says softly, before she lifts her hand and with a small flick sends the scene into motion; with that comes all the sights, sounds, and smells. It is almost startling when the chaos suddenly starts.

Someone is screaming.

It sounds like it’s coming from the end of a long, narrow corridor that is simultaneously very far away and yet right in front of them because they are standing in the middle of the lobby of Raytech Industries. Smoke wafts in from the space where the bulletproof windows used to be, the remains of the glass twinkling on the ground among charred pieces of grenade shrapnel.

In the distance, they hears the rising wail of a klaxon siren, Raytech’s alarm system building volume and pressure in their ears— or—

It's the radio.

It sputters and pops beneath the din, guttering in and out and the machine struggles to pick up a high, crooning voice accompanied by what she thinks might the more solemn lines of a cello and a viola. Percussive beats flutter beneath the song's lyrics, or maybe that's just the sound of their pulse drumming in their skull. Overheard, the lobby's lights sputter, showering the scene with bright white sparks that go out before they hit the ground, or bounce off nearby surfaces like the front desk where the body of Sera Lang slumps forward, still in her seat. A phone receiver, cord wrapped around the length of her long, bare arm, dangles into space and continues to swing like a pendulum. The receptionist's other hand is stretched above her head, the tips of her fingers limp on the desk's panic button.

The lights judder again and Sera's body flickers once.

Disappears in the space between blinking.

Barney Sorenson's blood mingles with the bright orange shock of his beard and hair, making it difficult for her to pick them apart or determine the extent of his injuries. He lies face down in a pool, cheek flat on the floor, his blue eyes gone glassy and fixed on an indeterminate point in the distance. Beneath him, Remi Davignon-Mortlock is still. If it wasn't for the entry wounds that appear to have punched straight through Sorenson's back and shot straight into her, they might mistake the peaceful expression on her face — eyes closed and dark lashes at rest — for dreaming.

Even in death, Sorenson's arm cradles Remi's body against his much larger one, as if still trying to shield her from the barrage of bullets that felled both of them.

Like viewing the scene out of a horror film, the immersive experience of the vision is what really captures Luther’s disturbed reaction. Given that he’s not tethered to a spot in the vision, he moves around to the various victims that he first sees, discovering that there’s no touching of things when his hand sweeps through Sera’s body and the phone cord. He blinks as she disappears, but his gaze moves to where Barney and Remi lie on the floor. Kaylee can see that the initial sight of the Raytech employees gunned down have definitely disturbed Luther. But he’s not just observing, he’s also studying.

Eventually, the screaming halts his examination and he looks back up to Kaylee.

All of this doesn’t really seem to affect Kaylee, who lightly hops down from the desk, her bare feet make no sound as they hit the floor. Following after the sounds of screaming, Kaylee pauses long enough to motion him to follow her.

Spent casings tinkle. Toward the elevator where two women are huddled together. Desdemona Desjardins is the source of the screams. One blue eye wide with panic stares through the shattered lens of her oversized spectacles at three figures dressed in black stride purposefully toward her and Kaylee Ray-Sumter, whose hand smashes the elevator's call button over and over.

"Stop!" Des shouts, holding out both her hands. Her voice crackles, raw with emotion. Tears streak down her cheeks and gleam under the spasm of the lobby's intermittent lights. A fixture comes loose from the ceiling, swings in a wide arc, but does not fully detach or go crashing to the floor. "Whatever you want— we can help you. We can help you. Please. I'm—"

She doesn't get any further than that. One of the figures raises their rifle and there's a bright flash, a clap like thunder, and Des crumples against the elevator's doors beside Kaylee. Her knees go out from under her and she drops to the floor, a marionette with its strings cut in one swift strike.

Kaylee's breath hitches in her throat as she darts a glance down at Des' body slouched on the floor. As the figures edge closer, a boot crunches over Des' fallen glasses, obliterating the frames and what remains of the lenses inside. All three figures wear knit balaclavas to protect their faces and leather gloves to provide a barrier between their fingers and any prints they might leave behind. Two carry rifles. The third wields a smaller weapon: a plain handgun, which they point at the telepath as she puts her back against the elevator's doors and tries to shield her head and face.

They aren't military, or if they are, they aren't in uniform; Their clothes are a combination of leather and wool and other durable materials sourced from different places, none of which look particularly official. Or professional. They should be robbing a bank, not at the helm of a massacre.

"Why are you doing this!" Kaylee demands through her tears, although her voice takes on the steelier edge of someone who knows they're about to die, regardless. "This isn't you."

Upon viewing the scene of active murder in cold blood, Luther finds himself not breathing beyond a few shallow intakes and exhales. There’s a familiarity to the sight of dead bodies killed by gunshot. Possibly the scent of gunsmoke, or blood. His features are screwed up in a grimace, eyes fixed on the happenings as he pushes himself to unwind his insides and continue observing the vision as it proceeds.

As she hears herself, Kaylee can’t help but turn away. Her whole body very noticeably flinches away from the sound, eyes closing to hide the momentary panic, with the gunshot that comes after. Joseph would be proud, because she doesn't end up in a ball on the floor.

Luther looks over towards Kaylee, a question arising as she closes her eyes to the sight of her confrontation with the masked men. “You know who this is? Recognize the voice?”

«No…» Comes the strained answer from the telepath, a glance going to him out of the corner of her eye, head turning slightly so that she can focus on him. «Though it sounds like I should… or it did to me.» We could have sssstopped them… why? There is something dark and deadly to the hissing words behind her own, but also sounds confused. Like it couldn’t understand the inaction.

There's a fractional narrowing of the leader's eyes behind their balaclava but their aim does not waver. "Read my mind," they suggest. Kaylee hurls herself at the figure with a snarl and a gloved finger contracts around the pistol's trigger. As if in slow motion, the bullet pass through Kaylee's left eye and pass out the back of her skull in a roostertail of blood, bone, and brain matter that spatters the elevator doors at her back.

Her body joins Des, Barney, and Remi on the floor.

It’s Luther’s turn to look away when Kaylee is shot point blank through the skull. The man’s Adam’s apple bobs as he swallows, looking grimly at the body of the telepath. Grey eyes lift from the cooling corpse to the telepath’s projected self image in her crisp white sundress.

His body is warm, but his blood right now runs cold. Not with fear, but with a sense of anger. Outrage.

Ding, goes the elevator.

The doors open.

There is a flash of embarrassment when she turns back around. «Sorry… Something about the thought of seeing that part live.» Or what passes as live, in the mind of another person. Even though her words sound like she is talking into a tin can, Kaylee still manages to sound sheepish.

Even as the elevator opens Kaylee looks down at the two bodies as they fall into the elevator, she doesn’t look up as her brother is attacked.

Only a quick shake of his head indicates Luther hears her apology, but he doesn’t comment otherwise. His gaze follows the group of assailants to the elevator doors, body tense with an anticipation and anxiety.

Richard Ray instinctively takes a step backwards as Des and Kaylee spill into the elevator at his feet. Behind him, Jared Harrison holds his briefcase like a shield and stifles a choked shout in the back of his throat. Unlike his unfortunate employees massacred lobby, Richard comes prepared; he fires off two quick shots from his own pistol that strike one of the assailants with a rifle and send them staggering backwards into Sera's unoccupied chair, which they reach for and tip on the way down.

The leader does not so much as glance in that direction. "I'm sorry, Richard," they say instead as their remaining companion bullrushes the men in the elevator, slamming Richard into the back mirror with enough force to crack it down the middle. "This wasn't your fault."
Richard's attacker pins him between his chest and the wall of the elevator, rifle gripped at both ends, which they use to crush his windpipe. The leader watches as his thrash out from under him, his feet kicking wildly at his attacker's legs. His pistol drops from his fingers, growing slack, and there’s a moment where Harrison looks like he might stoop and grab for it.

The leader blocks his path.

Harrison can only watch as Richard’s attacker presses the life out of him. His struggles wind down in intensity, little by little, until the only energy he has left is a twitch in his ankle. Satisfied, the leader makes a motion with their hand and the Richard’s attacker— Richard’s assassin discards him beside Kaylee and Des.

The elevator begin to grind slowly closed, then bumps open again when the doors bump against the bodies clogging the path. Richard’s assassin shoves them aside with their boot.

“Thank you, Edwin,” murmurs the leader.

The leader, their back to the prophet, pulls off their balaclava, and maybe they might be able to see their identity reflected in the elevator’s mirror if it wasn’t broken.

“Hello, Mr. Harrison,” the leader says. “Let’s talk.”

Ding, goes the elevator.




A wave of the telepath’s hand and everything freezes again, all sound stops leaving it eerily quiet within Luther’s mind. Nothing but the sound of their breathing and the pounding of their hearts.

Standing there surrounded by dead bodies Kaylee looks around her with a sad and haunted expression and asks softly, «Any part of it you’d li —» Like seemed like the wrong word to use in the current setting, so she corrects herself. «You need to see again?»

Luther’s form shakes a little, coming down the visceral feelings he’s had to keep tamped down in order to witness the rest of the vision. Once the elevator door freezes, Kaylee mercifully stopping the replay, he finds it in him to breathe. “Edwin.” The name he repeats, committing it to memory. “Why are they after Harrison?” The question is rhetorical, but it shows he’s gotten past the cold rage now and moved to processing.

“This vision, as far as we know… is the future,” he says as he steps back from where the vision’s version of Jared stands with the unrecognizable leader. “They take out everybody except him. They know everyone. Come right through the front doors, even. Even though the glass is bulletproof, the grenades would take those out. Suggests military, or paramilitary. Or…” He wets his lip, arms folded across his chest. “Or just some assholes with a motive and extreme methods.” He recognizes that much, having been part of extremist groups in the war.

When his arms drop back to his sides, Luther lets out a long exhale. He looks back at Kaylee then, stepping over to where she is, and his eyes search hers. “You doing okay? After seeing this, it’s… rough.” The man sucks in another breath, glancing over to the receptionist’s desk where the third assailant of the group had been shot and tumbled. “We don’t have to stay in here,” he says after the pause, implying they can go back to a more physical reality.

The approach of her companion forces Kaylee to pull her eyes away from the bodies… especially hers. When her eyes meet his, he can see the haunted look there, the worry… anxiety that might come from more than the scene before them. She looks like she is going speak, but…

“I’m fine…” The words real this time, coming from right in front of him instead of every direction. In fact, Luther finds himself still standing where he was in Kaylee’s office, but the telepath’s fingers are gone from his temple and she’s already stepping back, a palm of her hand pressing to her temple. Her expression was apologetic. “I’m…. I’m sorry, Luther. I shouldn’t have taken liberty like that.” Digging through her drawers she pulls out a bottle of aspirin. “But now you know what I mean when I said I can go into people’s heads.” She gives him a sad smile.

On a more serious note she adds, “I’d appreciate it, but you kept the vision to yourself. Many of the people in our employ have never dealt with everything that people like you, me, and Richard have.” Turning her attention to opening the bottle, she adds. “I’ve dealt with people like that.” There is a grimace, which says it didn’t go well.

Seeing the haunted look in her eyes, Luther tugs down the corners of his mouth in a frown. Her worry is his concern. The drop back into present reality is a little jarring, but Luther stands planted firmly, comfortably, once he has regained his bearings. Following her with his gaze, he turns only when he realizes she's rummaging around for a bottle of pills in her desk. He cuts a glance to the bottle, then back up to her when she opens it, brow knitting as he listens. There's a short headshake had her apology.

"How many of the others know?" he asks after a beat to think. "I agree that this should be kept under wraps, at least until we can figure out… some extra security measures." It sounds weird to say that, since he feels like he's still a janitor working on a mess to clean up. Even if that mess is metaphorical bloodbath. "Plus, that's just one future, right? It's… not like it's set in stone." From the low timbre he speaks in, he's concerned that the future is set in gravestones.

But, then he steps over to where she's fiddling with the bottle cap to the aspirin, and stands by her at first to watch her. His expression reads as concerned, but he cants his head off to a side, angled to study hers. A hand starts to lift, hesitating for a moment with fingers curling and uncurling with question of whether or not he should, if he might be taking to much liberty. But then he continues with the motion and, wordlessly, reaches his arm around with the intent to draw her into a hug.

There is a slight shake to her hands, even though she had taken the image from Eve, even gave it to Richard, she hadn’t been… in it yet. The top pops off and clatters across the desk top, the sound a little loud in the quiet of the room. She notices the slight tremble to her hand and curls her fingers tight. “Who knows?” she asks, avoiding looking at him as she sets down the bottle. “I believe besides you, me, and Richard. I’ve told Joseph.” Her husband. “And I believe Des knows, but… but that is all I know. Richard could have told others.”

The hug, actually, manages to catch her by surprise. Probably a good thing she is the only mind reader here… She had not expected something like that from her Head of Security. In fact, she almost pulls away, but… she ends up returning that hug. It’s a warm hug… literally.

Of course, she is hoping like hell no one walks in that door at that moment.

Can we say awkward?

There is a touch of amusement as she pulls away, fingers moving to tuck loose strands behind her ear, as she steps away a little. “You better not let people see you doing that… the rumor mills are strong here…” She gives him a knowing look, but it dissolves into a grin. “Thank you, though… I did need that. Your right.” She falls quiet as she shakes out painkillers and chases it with water… downside of her ability.

Truth be told it does feel awkward at first, but Luther eases into the hug as much as she does, and for those lingering seconds the embrace is of warm comfort. He releases her after to step back as well, realizing he may have overstepped some bounds. Yet, there isn’t regret for doing it. Luther rolls his eyes, eyeing the door with her mention that he shouldn’t do that within visible range. “It’s just a hug,” he rumbles out, though he steps back one more pace and looks over to the aspirin she takes. Then he rounds back over to the front of the desk, coming up beside the human skull sitting upon it on the corner. Grey eyes stare down at it, a stark reminder of the vision.

“What were their reactions, finding out what happened - happens - to them?” he asks after a moment of silent thought. “Do we know of anybody in recent contact that might present a threat to the company? Competitor? Friends…” The man taps on the desk top with a finger beside the skull. “We need info. The profiles of any visitors or contacts you or Richard or Ms. Desjardins may have had. And, Mr. Harrison.” In time, he glances back up to the telepath, the concern in his expression giving way to flat determination. The same look he had with figuring out David Cardinal, methodical and cautious.

“How much clearance do I get with this?” he asks, a brow lifting at her.

Once the bottle is capped and dropped back into a drawer, Kaylee settles into her chair. Leaning back against the carved wood back and crossing her legs, she considers his question. Her foot moves a little, swiveling the chair back and forth a little. “Richard is of course… worried and extremely determined to beat it. My husband has all the faith in the world that Richard will protect me.” There is a tug at the corner of her mouth; amusement. “However, I haven’t shown him this vision, only told him about it. He is a precog, but he gives the visions, rather than getting them like Eve.” Meaning he may have a little better understanding than the rest of them. “Des… you’ll have to ask her.

“When it comes to people wanting to come after us….” Kaylee slowly shakes her head as she thinks back. “I mean… not anyone since before the Civil War. Even then, Raytech didn’t really exist as it is.” There is a soft sigh, fingers brushing across her forehead in thought. “Let me be honest with you….” Her expression is serious as she looks up at him. “Last time I dealt with one of Eve’s dreams… it was the fall of the island. It came true. The council ignored the warnings we gave them, now we all have to live with the results of that decision. A lot of people died that night.” There is guilt in that admission, she never felt like they pushed hard enough.

“Do what you need to,” Kaylee says softly, “But I’m sure you understand that anything costly or too disruptive… Just anything big in general… come talk to me or Richard? I know you’ll keep us in the loop, but I wouldn’t be doing my job if I didn’t remind you.”

For a moment it seems like that is all she is going to say, but then she adds, “You know you can ask right?” A significant glance goes down to the skull that he keeps staring at.

“Yeah, of course he is,” Luther remarks about Richard Ray’s determination to beat the future. A wry sense of understanding comes with the phrase, and a similarly wry smile to go along with it. The smile fades with the rest of the considerations laid out over the proverbial table where his gaze lifts from the skull back to Kaylee. At the mention of the fall of Pollepel, he dips his head. “That’s why we aren’t going to ignore this one,” he replies quietly. Though not in a position to forgive, there is understanding.

“If it’s all the same to you, I’d rather not invite the challenge of figuring out how to install grenade-proof front windows,” he then remarks with a short huff. “Would be a lot easier to figure out how to stop anybody from throwing grenades at the building in the first place. That’s kind of the angle I’m going for. But, I appreciate it all the same. The… reminders.” In case he does get a little paranoid. Or outlandish. Hard to imagine, perhaps, but possible.

Given that she points out the skull and gives him permission to, Luther finally takes her up on that offer. He gestures at the skull with his hand. “Why?” comes the singular query. Not even who, or what, or how.

That single question gets a genuine bark of laughter from the woman, easing some of the tension… maybe it’s how he asked, more then the question itself. Legs uncross so that she can push up to her feet and retrieve the skull. She turns the thing in her hands so that she can look at it straight on. “I could give you this elaborate story about being a telepath and thinking it could be cool to have it sitting there to unnerve people…” But clearly that isn’t the reason.

“It’s simpler than that…” She lifts it a bit and looks at it straight on, before setting it gently on the desk again. “I bought it at the auction,” she starts with a small shrug of her shoulders. “I couldn’t imagine one of those rich folks buying it to put it on display and whoever the family is, not having closure…

“So…” She looks up at him with a matter of fact look. “I bought it so that I can get it ID’d and…. maybe….. give a family a tiny shred of peace.” Her hands spread out. “See simple and completely innocent.”

Skepticism riddles Luther’s expression when she starts off with her anecdote. That doesn’t abate when Kaylee continues on to mention that she bought the skull at an auction. “What kind of auction— you know what, nevermind,” he says, dimissing the original rich people are weird line of commentary. The man eyes the skull again, then Kaylee, and narrows his gaze at her as if trying to discern if there’s more to it. Like there’s too simple an explanation here.

“It’s got a full set of teeth,” he points out, a short nod to the object. The ex-person. “Did you? Wind up getting that peace.” Inquiry still dubious, he slides his hands into his pockets, thumbs hooking on his belt. “Or, if you need help with that…” There’s a soft throw of an offer, since now he feels a pang of guilt for questioning what could be a totally innocent motive.

“Staten Island… “ Kaylee comments in response of what type of auction. As if location explains it all. He gets a guilty smile, a little sheepish. “And… no. Not yet, I have a call into an old associate who works for the SESA. Hoping he can help or at least point me in the right direction. If anything… it might just be from high school science room skeleton for all I know.”

Looks up from her scrutiny of the skull, Kaylee studies Luther with amusement. “Don’t worry… I’m weird, but not displays a skull on her desk weird.” Even though it’s been sitting.. In a way displayed on her desk. She realizes this… it shows in her expression. The skull is picked up, a deep drawer opened and the thing set into it. “So…” Kaylee starts after the drawer shuts. “I could use some coffee after that trip…You want to join me?” She point at the floor the cafeteria is below them somewhere.

Though a brow lifts for her mention of Staten Island, Luther decides he won’t ask for further details. After all, he’s gone to the dark corners of those places in the recent past too, and paid for it with a bullet to his shoulder. But at least that’s healing. He’s been through worse. His head ndos once, concern lessening when she mentions SESA. A legit channel, at least, giving the impression for now that her motives are as she’s noted, innocent.

And so when she offers a distraction with the mention of coffee from the downstairs cafeteria, he glances up from where she sticks the skull into the drawer, a wry smile returning. “Yeah, that sounds like a plan,” he replies with a half turn towards the office door. “And, maybe grab something to eat after.”

Kaylee can’t help but chuckle as she follows after, adding, “Only if there is a vanilla milkshake involved.”

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