Gift or Curse


ingrid_icon.gif kayla_icon.gif russo_icon.gif yana_icon.gif

Scene Title Gift or Curse
Synopsis Serendipity strikes at a street market in Greenwich Village.
Date December 19, 2010

Greenwich Village

It's snowing.

Dusting, really. Mottled gray clouds dampen the light but are not so thick that the early afternoon sun is incapable of penetrating the winter gloom and warming the faces of the pedestrians weaving their way through the Greenwich Village street market, which has been advertised in fliers and pamphlets for the last week to generate interest and return some much-needed business to the neighborhood.

Part farmer's, part flea, it's an eclectic little collection of tent-covered stalls and the perfect place to get one's Christmas shopping out of the way, a draw which has attracted several hundred people to what looks like a fluttering canvas settlement from afar. The smell of sizzling lamb and chicken kabobs on an open grill fills the crisp winter air, mingling with the earthier scents of fresh produce and salty fish. As she admires a stall with glittering amber and silver jewelry behind glass, a young woman with flyaway blonde hair tugged out from her ponytail plucks a burnt piece of meat off the end of her wooden skewer she holds in her ungloved hand and pops it her mouth before chewing carefully.

Ingrid came here with a shopping list, but she dropped it somewhere between two flower vendors in the process of going back and forth, trying to determine which bouquet would look better in the living room she shares with Jolene and — sometimes — Joshua. Fortunately, she prides herself on her attention to detail and good memory; the basket she carries under her arm is filled with fresh produce for their kitchen, a slab of meat wrapped in white paper and bleeding onto the spinach, and various other items bundled in more secure fashions.

"I swear, with the snow twinkling like glitter in the sun, on days like today people could fall in love," Russo dusts the snow from his shoulders underneath one of the many tent-covered stalls as he adjusts the green scarf peeking out from below his black peacoat. The vendor is given a wink as Brad's eyes flit to jewelry, Ingrid, and then back to the vendor. Around his arm is a similar basket— filled with produce and the occasional slab of meat himself.

His dark eyebrows escalate at her while he emits a high-pitched whistle. "Now that looks good." With a flicker of a smile, he cranes his neck to inspect the food, and in doing so, the bruising along his nose becomes evident. "You should've been here in September— best peaches I've had in my entire life. I swear it's true." His hand extends fluidly in the air, as if erasing any doubt she may have had from a whiteboard.

He wrinkles his nose which has the unhappy side effect of reminding him why he's here. A glance is given to the jewelry as he clucks his tongue. "You're a woman— hypothetically… if you were a producer… and one of your colleagues punched your assistant, what kind of apology gift would be needed to make up for that? Hypothetically." His lips twitch into a dimpled grin as he shakes his head a little, he really needs to start ignoring Dirk— even when he gets crashed into with a scooter by the assistant.

Snow can be pretty. At the moment, however, Kayla finds it a nuisance. Along with the crowd, the crowded layout of the stalls, and the fact that she needs to be out here in the first place. Which is to say, her mood is more irritably sullen than usual — this might correlate with the dark circles under the woman's gray eyes. Bundled up in a dark brown knee-length coat, blue scarf knotted around her throat, and soot-colored cloth gloves, she is at least well-insulated from the cilly winter air. Rather than a basket, Kayla carries a re-purposed plastic bag, handles looped about one wrist. The shapes half-discernible inside it speak mostly of produce as her purchases of interest.

Russo is also summarily grouped into the category of nuisance, for multiple reasons, as Kayla pauses beside him and Ingrid. Waiting there for a moment's clear space in which she can continue down the cramped aisle; ingrained caution makes her reluctant to simply push through. She looks askance at Russo, expression more than a little skeptical. "Anyone dumb enough to fall in love with snow deserves it," she comments, brows descending in a scowl. And as for the other — well, she's a woman too, and prone to voicing opinions besides, even when they aren't asked for. "Sounds like it's the colleague who needs to grovel."

At first, all Ingrid can sort of do is stare at Russo and be mindful not to leave her jaw hanging open while she does it. Maybe she recognizes him from the Advocate, or maybe she isn't used to being acknowledged by total strangers; blue eyes widen fractionally while he speaks, though there's no fear in them, and she makes awkward movements with her mouth as if trying to form words or find her voice. Both elude her, however, and she's reduced to blinking her lashes a few times, then lowering her gaze back to the glass case with her chin tucked in against the collar of her coat, a fashionable thing of green wool which she wears over a plain white blouse and more vibrant skirt with a floral pattern that cuts off a few inches above the knee. The weather dictates that she wear nylons with it.

"H-Hypothetically," she says finally, and she reaches down into her basket, kabob still dangling between her fingers, to pluck out a branch of yellow jasmine flowers from the bouquet she eventually settled on with a soft crinkle of clear plastic. "I'd leave her something she could appreciate where she could find it."

Kayla receives a small smile that looks shaky on her lips, and it isn't clear whether or not she agrees with the older woman's sentiments. She turns the solitary branch between her fingers, a thin, flimsy thing with cornsilk petals a little wilted around the edges, and offers it to Russo. The bouquet won't miss it. There are plenty of chrysanthemums, orange carnations and purple asters to bulk it up. "You're— Bradley Russo." She glances at Kayla. "And you're— you're. Um?" Not famous, apparently, but there's apology in Ingrid's tone when she prompts her for her name.

The market marks one of the many stops on a long day of Christmas Collecting for Dr. Blite. You see, the Christmas season is not only busy, but it is also cold. All of these people wandering around, exposing themselves to stress and all kinda of illnesses, and possibly having illnesses that they don't even know are in their systems. The market is the first stop, she can find common things here, fun for all yanno. A cold, the flu.. something like that. She already has the flu, the particles sitting in her system, awaiting orders and a quick transfer from her body to another. Occasionally, she might hit a gold mine. People can hid their sicknesses well, or just be starting to produce the virions in their body. It could be something serious, which would make Yana happy. Ahhhh.. virus hunting, a favored hobby of the well dressed lady in the stylish black dress and expensive looking grey fur shawl.

She is accompanied by a rather tall well dressed man, towering over most with broad shoulders and a stern, calm look on his face. He doesn't move ahead of her, in fact he is a step behind, quietly carrying the various bags and boxes that she has picked up along the way. Presence for her nephew, some of her associates and a few for herself. Shoes.. gotta have shoes.

A cough catches her attention, bringing Dr. Blite's head to whip around to a youngish looking woman in her twenties. There is a maniacal delight in her eyes for a split second, and she sees her, studying her with intent, peering with the vision of her ability. Aww.. the poor dear. Afflicted with delightful meningitis. Such an early infection too, she probably doesn't even know she has it. A brilliant disease, really.. does wicked things to the brain if unchecked. This would be a fantastic discovery if.. Yana didn't already have it. Shame.

"Excuse me, dear?" Yana coos quietly, reaching out to touch the woman's arm. Skin touches skin, and the woman turns around to look at Yana, confused. "Oh! I'm terribly sorry.. I thought you were someone else." Dr. Blite touches her neckline, feigning embarrassment. Though that small amount of contact, she gave the virus that would soon ravage the woman's body order to self-destruct, clearing her of the infection. The damage that was already done could now heal itself naturally. Merry Christmas.. let it not be said that she doesn't have a heart. What is really a shame is the rather rampant growth of Chlamydia trachomatis the woman has in her throat. It's not something Yana is even aware off. Poor dear. Perhaps she should learn to skip football season.

After she is given an unsure smile, Yana continues with her shopping, drawing nearer to where conversations seem to be happening.

Brad's smile actually extends at Kayla's comment, "Wooooow. You're a literalist! I thought you were a dying breed!" One of his hands is held up into a 'stop formation' as he shrugs, "I wasn't suggesting people would fall in love with the snow. Just in love in general. There's something truly beautiful about sparkling ice falling from heaven." Apparently he's feeling poetic.

He turns his head and drops his chin to stare at the jewelry, "Ehn. I wouldn't worry about grovelling," there's a low chuckle while his eyes fix on a particular silver locket, "I wasn't the one riding the scooter through the studio on the weekend because the boss is away." There's a more ironic pull to his lips as he shakes his head and clucks his tongue. "Some days I wonder why she keeps him around," his tone borders somewhere between jealousy and amusement, but it's hard to tell which he actually aims for. Regardless, Russo is the one searching for a present, which, is curious in and of itself, particularly if he hadn't caused said-incident in the first place.

The jasmine flowers, however, draw his attention away from the case of jewelry. "They're lovely," he states as his pale blue eyes follow the the growth of wilted petals up the branch. "There's something so promising about blossoms. Especially in the dead of winter. Or ironic maybe?" There's another flicker of a smile as he accepts the branch. "Thank you. I think K will like, mind, I'll have to add more." He issues her a lopsided grin followed by a nod, "I am. Just… call me Brad, okay?" His head tilts slightly and his chin drops, "And who are you?"

When the girl's voice proves a long time in joining the conversation, Kayla's eyes slant sideways to her, an impatient prompt conveyed without speech. If anything, her scowl appears to deepen as Ingrid finally speaks up — not so much on the subject of proper demonstration of apology, but at the awe she apparently has for Russo. The apologetic prompt for her own name is met with a dismissive twitch of shoulders; nobody important, it implies. "Kayla," she allows succinctly at the same time.

Brushing half-melted flakes from the shoulder of her coat, Kayla looks down at the white-speckled ground, then back over at Russo. "I don't see what that has to do with falling in love," she replies. "If the object is another person, snow shouldn't make a difference." Maybe she just doesn't have the same appreciation for atmosphere. Or love.

"Brad, Kayla, right." Ingrid steals the last chunk of meat off the skewer, sliding it between her teeth, and uses the tips of her fingers to wipe a greasy smudge of lamb fat mixed with spices from the corner of her mouth, then rubs it off on the napkin provided. A plastic garbage can filled with empty paper cups belonging to a vendor handing out free samples of his apple cider is the perfect place for her to discard both soiled napkin and skewer, and she drops them into the receptacle, grateful that Kayla is there to occupy Russo's attention while she struggles with her composure, cheeks a little flushed with something that's probably embarrassment.

"I dunno," she admits. "It depends if they're the kind of person whose nose gets runny when it's cold. Mine does." A sniffle. "I don't think it's very attractive. I'm Ingrid. S'nice to you."

Hm? What is this? A sniffle. These are the little sounds that Yana looks for, and this time her eyes settle upon Ingrid with hope, looking her from head to toe while she shifts her stance, hips switch from one side to the other. More than likely, she isn't in luck with this one, but she still has to check. The tall man behind her pauses as she pauses, his cautious mind having him looking from left to right for a moment, keeping his thoughts to himself, while Yana moves to interact with Indrid, to give her a little time to look her over. "Excuse me.." she speaks up to the girl, "I couldn't help but notice the morsel you just finished? Was that lamb? It looked positively delicious, and I was just wondering if you could direct me as to where you obtained it?" Her brows lift expressively, the woman keeping her hands well to herself for now, not reaching for the woman.

"My attendant and I are a little on the famished side." she reaches a hand over to lay an indicating touch on the man's arm right next to her. Yana's smile seems rather sincere and quite kind as she speaks, like someone who donates to charities quite often, or adopts people.

"Sunlight, snow, birds singing— it all makes a difference," there's an unusually chipper edge to his voice. Pointedly, as the basket is moved to the crook of his elbow, Russo raises a finger in the air, "And, despite popular belief it makes a difference in both love and lust. I once interviewed a social psychologist on my show and we associate good moods, beauty outside, and even favourable music with the people around us. So, theoretically, on a day like today, a person could associate the beauty of the natural world, in the form of glitter-snow, with a perfect stranger, and fall in love." The man speaks as if from experience. Finally, his finger is lowered, and the basket left to rest on the top of the case.

He turns away from the case and flashes both Ingrid and Kayla a bright charming smile in turn, complete with dimples and an idle chuckle. "Good to meet you, Ingrid… Kayla." His eyes narrow with near-skepticism, but it melts away as quickly as it'd come. "So.. flowers then? Skip the jewelry this time?" Not that he can predict how Kristen might take a piece of jewelry anyways.

Yana's mention of the lamb is met with arched eyebrows while the host's gaze shifts between her and her companion. "As an aside, I think I could cook that better in my kitchen. I mean, given the right ingredients."

Kayla doesn't look particularly swayed by either the psychologist's expert opinion or Russo's charming smile. "Sure," she huffs, in the kind of sour tone that means anything but. "I'll believe it when I see it." Free hand coming up to rub at her nose, the woman looks past Russo, spotting a break in traffic far more welcome to her mind than the drifting snow; slipping away from him and Ingrid, Kayla takes opportunistic advantage of the chance to forge ahead on her own business — even if her destination does turn out to be only two stalls down.

Ingrid would probably like to argue that someone can be sincere and kind without donating to charities or adopting people, but there's nothing off-putting about the expression on Yana's mouth or the deceptively saccharine tone of her voice. What causes her to hesitate is the presence of her 'attendant', and in an awkward moment of silence filled by the sound of shuffling feet and the clip-clop of hooves as a police officer on horseback goes trotting by, she tries to remember if she's seen Yana's face before, either in a newspaper or on a magazine cover.

Wariness creeps into her eyes. Bodyguards are expensive, and unable to identify anything that might indicate that Yana is disabled or in need of an assistant, there are very few conclusions left for her to arrive at.

That Yana thinks very highly of herself, for whatever reason, is probably a safe one. It subverts some of that sincerity, if only from Ingrid's perspective, and the girl admittedly comes off as rather sheltered. "There's a cart by the jams and honeys," she says, but she's looking at Yana's bodyguard rather than Yana herself, studying him cautiously beneath the fluttery veil of her lashes, shy, "but if you're— famished, there's a cozy little noodle place a few blocks from here. Choptix. With an ex. They have really good gyoza."

By the time her gaze is drifting back to Russo, Kayla has already moved on and there's a moment where she looks around for the other woman in quiet bewilderment before she realizes that he's asking her a question. "Oh— yes. Jewelry's nice, but it sets weird precedents. If you can cook, maybe you could make her dinner at her place one night? And bring the flowers, I mean. I'd do that with my friends."

"Oh, you cook?" Yana's voice elevates to a mildly and pleasantly surprised level, looking to Russo, "Impressive. Managing a show such as The Advocate, and still finding the time to prepare your own meals." A charming smile from the woman, who adjusts the fur around her shoulders, covering up the exposed bare areas from the cold. "Remarkable trait, Mr. Russo. I do appreciate fine dining, and the thought of sampling your apparent culinary workings is a pleasant one indeed." Sure, she has seen him on TV. The show has provided some rather interesting watching on Yana's part.

Yana has been in the paper, and in a few other science articles, a virologist who developed vaccines for at least 7 strains of more common viruses that have proven difficult to get rid of. She promises to have a rather decent career. "Oh!" she announces in a delighted tone to Ingrid's response, turning her head to look over toward the indicated area. "Delightful. Christopher? If you would please?" Yana turns to her attendant, giving him another touch on the arm. His response is still silent, and he looks from one individual to the next, remembering their faces. A nod later, and he slips away, making his way over to the cart that was pointed out to make a purchase. Yana is left to smile at the group, "Dr. Elvira Blite," she introduces herself to the group, yet she extends her hand to Russo, her palm down as he is the only gentleman in the vicinity. "But please, just call me Yana."

"Hmm.. I haven't had a good gyoza in a while. I'll take your suggestion into consideration. Perhaps my nephew wouldn't mind it for dinner."

Brad's head turns to look into his basket, inspecting the contents with a smooth grin. "Yeah… I could cook for her, that's a great idea— " he strokes his chin with mild perplexion. "I could make lamb— everyone loves lamb." Of course the last time he cooked for Kristen, she saw through the entire guise of Russo-turned-chef and knew something was up, but this time it would be an apology. His smile extends at the compliment, "Thank you— I picked up cooking and gardening from my mother when I was a teenager. They kind of stayed with me." Partially because she didn't. "K expects random gifts from me anyways, dinner would be more of a surprise. While we never say it on air, I have a love of practical jokes. Unfortunately for her she gets the brunt of them." His gaze turns upwards momentarily, "I wonder if she has dishes to cook with."

He purses his lips together as he glances at the hand extending, issuing a faint kiss to the back of it. "It's a pleasure, Yana." Slowly he releases her hand and issues her a faint smile, "I'm actually somewhat familiar with your work. The Advocate is always looking for prominent people in their field for panel discussions. What are you working on these days?"

Having been recognized twice now, the host can't help but ask the question that lingers with such recognition, "You both watch the show?"

Ingrid twitches a look down at Yana's hand brushing Russo's lips, then back up to his face. Her own hand is fishing a notebook out of her coat pocket, small enough to fit in her palm, along with a pen. She flips it open, scribbles something in light blue ink across the top of the page that may or may not be related to the conversation at hand. Either way, she snaps it closed again a moment later, but instead of dropping it back into her pocket, she places it in the basket with her pen in case she needs to access both again while she's still shopping.

This is probably the part where she should be making her own exit with a nod of farewell to Yana and Russo, except that she doesn't.

"I'm working on a rather brilliant, if perhaps a little.. eccentric man. You might have heard of him, Elijah Ruslan? He's working with Evolved abilities." Yana explains, taking her hand back and settling it at her side. "He is trying to develop a process of determining the Evolved ability that will manifest before it actually does do so. I believe he can do it, and I have been assisting him on reaching his goal. He's.. impressive." Yana nods with a smile, thinking of Elijah and all of his possibilities. How he could help her research, the research that she hasn't so much as popped the lid off of. "Perhaps he wouldn't mind coming on the show and discussing. I could speak to him about it."

She is then reminded of something, in which she has to bring her hand to her mouth, covering it with a few of her fingers while she purses her lips, "Oh. And there could be another addition to that. A former guest of yours, I'm sure you remembers, Magnes Varlane?" She is confident that the name will ring a bell, "He.. came to me with a theory. It was a bit far fetched, but.. his heart could be in the right place, possibly. I mean, I personally feel it is a bad idea to try to give Evolved abilities to rats, regardless of testing purposes. I think he just needs a bit of a push in the right direction. Despite his… reputation?" Yeah, Russo probably knows what she means.

Christopher returns with skewers wrapped in wax paper, more than she sent him over for. He reaches to hand them to her, "Ah, thank you, Christopher.." Yana pushes open the paper, "Would you care for one? Mr. Russo? Miss?" she offers it out to the pair.

An eyebrow is arched at Ingrid's note-taking, but Russo really thinks nothing of it; sometimes things just need to be written down when a person thinks of them. Like with dreams, if it isn't written immediately, all hope of remembering what transpired will be lost in the light of the morning. At this thought, however, there's an odder quirk of his eyebrow accompanied by a twitch of his lips: he's reminded of Delia. A horrible sinking feeling culminates in the pit of his stomach and his skin visibly pales. There's a certain shame that accompanies the realization that he hasn't thought enough about his sister recent days prior. Even with the near-sickly reaction, Brad's smile doesn't falter— it's pasted across his lips.

But ratings outweigh sickly feelings. "I'd be pleased to speak to him. I'm sure we could come up with some arrangement." There's a stifled chuckle at the mention of Magnes that has Brad's colour returning albeit mildly, "Magnes is quite the character. He's what I'd like to call a regular. Frankly, we try to work him into everything now; he's a smart young man with varied ideas and he's not afraid of expressing them. Beyond that, he wins-out with the way he phrases things. I still can't believe he insinuated everyone gets under Tracy Strauss."

"Thank you," The offered meat is accepted as he draws a single piece away from the rest. It's promptly placed into his mouth and thoroughly chewed and swallowed. His head tilts back and forth, contemplating its tastes and textures before he asserts, "It's good. I think could do better." The smile grows and he cranes his neck to peek into Ingrid's basket, "Is there any chance I could borrow your pen? I think…" he clucks his tongue allowing the flavour to permeate even more, "… it's got a distinct— is that coriander? I don't think I've had lamb with coriander— "

Ingrid plucks the pen out of her basket and, like she'd done with the branch, holds it for Russo to take, though she responds to Yana's offer with a mute shake of her head. Magnes Varlane is a name she recognizes, at least, and her nostrils flare around a short sigh huffed out through her nose, inaudible. "It's impossible," she says, not of the pen, but the subject of their conversation. "Determining what sort of gift someone's going to have, before it's given. It's not like Christmas, where you can just— peel up the corner of the package. I—"

Probably shouldn't be talking, she decides, and immediately closes her mouth again for the amount of time it takes her to determine that this even more awkward than offering her opinion was. "I'm sorry. What's your contribution to Dr. Ruslan's research, exactly?"

"I used to tutor Magnes, back when I was 19. He was about.." Yana's eyes narrow and cast upwards, as if visually counting the years back, "Fourteen at the time. I was a little surprised when he sought me out the other evening. So different in person than on television. He has a tendency to trip over his words and avoid eye contact. Not very good for trying to pitch something to someone you haven't seen in years." she waggles a skewer back and forth for a moment. "He seemed please that I gave it to him straight, and mentioned something about his father being on his case. Which— " Yana's eyebrows raise, and she nods, "I found out, his father is technically one of my bosses. So we'll see where it goes, and what Elijah thinks." Yana is quite sure how Elijah will respond to Magnes' theory. The good Russian genius is rather difficult to deal with. His arrogance— while well placed— tends to put people off. However, Yana is aware of the effect that she has on him, which she uses to her full advantage without letting on that she knows that his brain tends not to work when speaking with her. It's adorable.

Russo's taste testing of the meat has Yana curious, so she too pulls a piece from a skewer and takes a small bite, going through her own sampling, pondering the various flavors. "Mm. It isn't bad. Not gourmet, but it suits the purpose of a snack." she makes sure to chew and swallow before speaking.

"Mm. I dunno.." Yana points out to Ingrid, shaking her fingers a bit, with the small piece of meat still pinched between them. "He is a very talented geneticist, and I believe he is actually on the brink of something. I'm assisting him on the possibility that his research can be achieved through the study of viruses. The appearance of the H5N10 virus last year is what got me to considering it. I proposed it to Elijah, and he saw merit in my ideas. For a virus to be able to strip away an Evolved ability, an influenza virus at that? It has me curious." she explains. "The potential of the viral particle have numerous possibilities, if we can unlock their secrets."

The pen is uncapped and Russo finds himself scribbling on the back of his hand. While he could've asked for paper, this way he's destined to remember what he wants to, and he didn't waste a sheet of her paper. He scribbles the word coriander across the back of his left hand followed by the words lemon pepper. "This could be good…" he murmurs to himself as his smile fades. "Gift. You called it a gift, that's quite the accepting attitude, Ingrid." Many, Brad himself, consider it a curse rather than a gift. "And it's hard to say what future research will yield. In a lot of ways it'd be convenient to stop some abilities," he clears his throat, "before they exist. I mean, if they'd hurt someone or themselves?"

He offers the pen back to the blonde as he forces another more tempered, polite smile. "Thank you. Just thought I should make sure "I imagine Magnes would've been a handful back then. Did you see the episode with the two Varlanes? His father is a tour de force. It was damned good television."

He nods at the research and the impending questions, "Well I'm sure you'll have interesting results. Viral research seems promising in the area based on what's already transpired."

"No," Ingrid says quickly, and although her voice is suddenly sharp, terse, her hand is shaky when she takes the pen back, and perhaps in an attempt to steady her fingers she rotates the pen between them. "S-Stopping abilities— assuming that they're genetic. It means stopping people or. It could. People'd have to apply for licenses to have children if they're Evolved, and— and if there's any history of someone manifesting— someone manifesting something dangerous or— or what somebody else perceives as dangerous, then. Then."

Her throat contracts, and she swallows hard. "It could get scary is all. I wouldn't want anyone telling me I couldn't have a baby because of what my baby might be able to do."

"I missed that one." Yana says with a hint of regret in her voice. "I actually haven't met his father, but I intend to one of these days. I imagine Mr. Varlane is as interesting as his son. Perhaps I know someone has it recorded on DVR. I'll have to ask around." Though she has to chuckle at Russo scribbling words across the back of his hand. The word he writes makes it all the more amusing. "I can see that you're quite serious about the cooking, Mr. Russo. I'm very intrigued. Perhaps I'll host a dinner party at some point in the future, and send you an invitation. Have everyone bring a dish, and have a wonderful meal and conversation. I'll consider it." she nods. Her attendant making note and thinking of all the things he would need to do for such an event.

Yana is a bit taken aback by Ingrid's initial outburst, raising a hand to her neckline, startled. At least that is what she wants one to believe. "Well.." she says softly, "I suppose those are some fears to consider. Science rarely considers the consequences, and perhaps you're right, we probably should. Though I don't exactly intend to stop abilities, I'm just considering that we can learn a lot about Evolved abilities through the study of viruses. I even have a theory— very loosely based, but worth investigating— that Evolved abilities could be because of a virus. Something that altered the genetics of the very first people to manifest. Abilities can be negated with drugs, so far. I'm just looking into the other possibilities, that's all. Conversely, what about the people who don't really come to terms with being Evolved? The ones who don't want their ability? It could be beneficial to help them as well."

Oh, behind those eyes of hers, it isn't about helping people. It's about helping herself. Furthering her knowledge and attaining control. Imagine, a virus that can instill Evolved abilities in individuals; whatever ability she desired, or take them away from those who don't see things her way. There are people who want power, she is one of them. With that kind of control, she could amass many to challenge those that would oppose her control, being the provider of the power. The Lord givith, and the Lord taketh away. A mad woman's dreams, perhaps, but her intimate knowledge of viruses, and her control of them give her hope that this can be achieved.

"Everything will be fine. Being Evolved myself, I wouldn't want to do anything that could prove problematic for myself or others.." she gives Ingrid an confident smile, hiding her viper's fangs and the poison that they contain, behind that sweetness.

Ingrid's outburst is met with the smallest shake of Brad's head, "Some people," both he and his sister, "some people would rather not manifest. Possibility isn't something they'd be open to and they recognize the obvious disadvantages to what could invariably become a curse." In these words, however, there is no smile, there is no hidden amusement, there's just the fact that sometimes change isn't necessarily desired or a good thing. "And no, I don't think it's right for people to require licenses to have children." Beat. Grin. "Unless we all are required to have licenses. Seriously. I'm pretty sure I wouldn't get one. Some of my… less desirable personality characteristics should end with me."

The notion of the dinner party is given a nod though, "I love cooking for other people. K and I have toyed with starting a morning show but I don't think either of us could get up in time. The part I would like? The fun little quippy segments. I don't get to do that. Maybe one day I'll insist upon it…"

"Hhh," says Ingrid, as much as hhh can be said. Yana's assurance that everything will be fine is met with a queasy pucker of the blonde's mouth, some of the colour bleeding from her cheeks as she pales and the skin around her eyes crinkles. She looks dubious. Dubious and sick.

"One day," she echoes, quieter now. "I should be going. Have a good afternoon, Mr. Russo. Bradley. And you too, Doctor. Good luck— with your research." She tries to sound sincere when she says it, but she's young and has not yet acquired the skills to say one thing, mean another, and convince the person she's speaking with of her falsified feelings. "Happy holidays."

She puts one foot in front of the other, excusing herself from the conversation with a dip of her blonde-haired head, and moves off in vaguely the same direction that Kayla disappeared.

A warm chuckle from Yana, "You're a remarkable host, Mr. Russo. Your show is one of the few things on television that I can actually tolerate and enjoy watching. I'd tune in to a cooking show if hosted." she smiles and casts a quick glance over to her statue of an attendant, "Christopher usually prepares the meals, he might enjoy receiving a recipe or two from you to try. I'd push for that cooking show, if I were you. It'd be a success more than likely." Flattery is a weapon at the best of times, and if Russo holds his position at any esteem as a host, she is sure to butter him up where she can. Never know when a talk show host could come in handy. Might serve well to exalt the image she is trying to portray.

She reaches over into the mass of bags that Christopher is holding, pulling out a small purse, and popping open the clip, "Allow me to give you my card, Mr. Russo. I'll talk to Elijah, and you can contact me to see about appearing on your show. I'm sure Elijah would be delighted to come and talk about our research." Possibly, never hurts to have options. She reaches out to hand him a small business card, containing her name, title and numbers.

"Oh, thank you very much." Yana smiles to Ingrid at her mention of departure. She reads the discomfort on the woman's face, and behind the mask she wears, there is a grin. People such as Ingrid often make the most marvelous of test subjects. That bleached look on her face is just the icing on the cake, once they come to realize that something terrible has happened to them. She drinks it in, along with the thoughts of causing that look further. Mmm.. How lovely.. "I should be going myself." she makes mention, "I still have to visit the hospital, I'm taking gifts to unfortunate children for the holidays, and I want to make it before visiting hours are over." Hoping that someone has something particularly nasty in their system that she can put to good use in experimentation. She clamps her purse back closed, and keeps a hold of it this time. "Mr. Russo, it was a pleasure making your acquaintance." she smiles to him, "And thank you for the dining tip. I think I'll try it tonight." spoken to Ingrid on her departure. "If you'll excuse me." a polite nod of her head as she heads on her way as well.

"Thank you, Yana," he returns. "I do what I can to maintain some journalistic integrity while make it as entertaining as possible." He manages one final smile as he accepts the card and pockets it.

Like everyone else, Brad has places to be. "Yeah, I actually…" Russo glances in the opposite direction, "should head out too," Brad manages another tighter smile as he turns and grasps his basket again. "I have dinners to make, friends to apologize to, and— well, other things too." He shoots Ingrid one last grin as she turns to disappear, "It was lovely meeting you, Ingrid. And you, Doctor. I'll be in touch." With a small salute and a comical smile, he issues his ordinary farewell, "B-Rad ladies." With a wink, he turns on the path, homeward bound.

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