Holding Out



Scene Title Holding Out
Synopsis A bit of news makes Robyn realise how remiss she has been with the memories of an old friend.
Date June 22, 2020

Kaleidoscope Studios

It's been a long day today. A long day, but one of renewed change, one of taking chances, one personal upkeep, and maybe even one of spending a little bit more money than one should probably be willing to drop in a day. But it was all for a good reason.

Or at least, that's what Robyn Roux keeps telling herself.

That had been the first sign of change today. Though Robyn had made the change personally almost as soon as she officially set the gears in motion, today she had received the notice that it was legally official - that her name was no longer Robyn Quinn, but rather Robyn Roux. She had been considering it for some time, but the events of February had solidified the decision.

And now it was official.

The clatter as she pushes her way into her 1st floor office at Kaleidoscope Studios shows signs of today's other big change, albeit one that is far less personal and much, much more expensive. In one hand she holds a helmet, sleek with the visor tilted up so she can grip it awkwardly as she pushes open the door. Something jingles between fingers as she shuts the door behind her.

The third sign of change came in the cane she holds in her left hand, a skull like raven's head adorning the top of it. It had been a few days since she had finished the required stages of her post-recovery physical therapy. Though she would continue with PT for just a bit longer until she felt truly comfortable, she was long healed by now. The cane wasn't necessary anymore. Yet, it had become such an expected part of her every day routine, parting with it feels strange now.

The fact that there is a sword hidden within would perhaps make the accessory even more understandable and slightly worrying, if anyone else knew about it. Ever since Sadler, she's felt safer keeping it close - though she would have to look into proper lessons on how to wield it soon, as if it were a few centuries ago all of a sudden. Either way, the knife Eve gave her wasn't going to cut it anymore.

The source of the jingling between her fingers is revealed as she reaches her desk and sets down the helmet, following it up by tossing a set of keys down next to her keyboard, the keyfob baring the symbol of Yamagato Industries across it, and emblazoned with the word "Ventus". Once upon a time, Robyn Quinn hadn't even owned a car and it was still strange to her that she had a Civis now. Back before the war, the only way she got around was public transportation, or a small Vespa scooter that certainly had been destroyed with the rest of the Verb.

Maybe it was a need to reconnect with that on a level more befitting of the version of herself that existed 10 years later. Maybe it was a midlife crisis. Maybe this was just her way of celebrating once more that she's alive. Either way, as she turns and peers out the window at the motorcycle parked outside, she can't help but smile.

It takes her phone dinging to bring her back to reality, almost jumping a bit as the sound echoes through the half empty room. After being put on leave, most of what had made up her office had been cleared out - so much been had related to her work that all that was left was her computer, a sofa, the books, some of her vinyl, and a turntable. What's notably missing marks the fourth change in her life: the small table where she kept her crystal decanters of whiskey she moved from the Bunker as well as the other assorted bottles of liquor no longer waits in easy access of her desk.

She had promised Matthew she'd drink less after all.

With a heavy sigh she turns and collapses onto the couch, pulling her phone - also Yamagato branded - up to see what the noise was all about. New news notifications it seems, Robyn folding her phone open and lazily thumbing through what she sees. Boring, boring, political, boring, UK is being shitty again, political, boring-

And then something catches her eye, from NME - "Kjelstrom Estate Sues Cherry Red Records".

It wouldn't be unreasonable to assume Robyn Roux has never sat up so fast in her life before that moment.

"What the fuck?" The expletive comes as Robyn rises quickly to her feet, brow stitched in an expression of confusion and uncertainty. The Kjelstrom Estate was something she'd never even imagined still existed, much less that- Robyn swallows, staring at her phone as her thumb moves to open the link. She hesitates, eyes moving across the room to her computer.

This would be much easier to investigate on a bigger screen.

Her pace is quick as she moves over to her computer and types in the url for the article - thankfully it's pretty easy to remember, at least in this moment. Immediately she's greeted with the headline and a big picture of Else performing years ago with her band, The Shattered Skies.


It's paralysing, even if just for the shortest moment. Seeing Else in her prime always is. The musician had always been someone Robyn looked up to, someone she adored even before they'd become friends through their Ferry work. The brief time they had been friends had always left an impression on her, and anyone that knew Robyn knew that. They also, likely, remembered how those last moments in the drainage ditch had gone.

Robyn certainly wouldn't ever forget.

Eyes scan over text as her finger slides down the scroll wheel, chewing at her bottom lip as reads the news article. As she finishes, she realises she hasn't taken much of a breath since starting, swallowing down a sudden lump in her throat and refilling her lungs with a short huff. Hands recede back into her lap as she sits back and stares at the screen, lips thinning. "What a load of bollocks," she mutters, shaking her head. "Stealing someone else's lyric's like…" She pauses, again finding herself a bit paralysed.


She blinks, eyes sliding over to look at the safe where she keeps Else's last few known songs. One of which, she recorded an acoustic demo of that, by her own disinterested instruction, had received airplay on WSZR.


That wasn't all, either.

Hands move to the keyboard once more, and it takes her a few moments to find and bring up contact information for the Kjelstrom Estate that somehow she had never heard of or thought to look for. And she feels like an idiot for it. Had she had her head that far up her own ass that she wasn't think of reaching out to someone she adored's family with what might be the last remains of hers?

It's probably good no one is there to answer that.

Finding a phone number, she scoops up her phone back into hand and dials it quickly, lifting herself up and out her chair, and with just as quick a pace, out of the room. As she steps into the hallway leading to the reception area, the phone picks up - an automated response. Not exactly what Robyn had been hoping for, but given that it's day of the news of a major lawsuit going out, she imagines that she's not the only one calling, even if no one else is likely calling for the same reasons she is.

As she passes through reception, she waits for the automated message to end, hoping there's an option to leave a message waiting at the end. It would be much easier for her than typing up an email that she will probably spend the rest of the night editing and tweaking, assuming she would ever actually send it at all.

A notification to stay on the line if she wishes to leave a message finally comes as she moves across the hallway to the two studio rooms, a beep finally sounding out as she places her hand on the door to the second room green room. Again, she finds herself paralysed; this time it passes quicker. Turning the handle, she clears her throat and pushes the door open.

"Hello, this message is for… I guess anyone who would hear it anyway. My name is Robyn Quinn," the usage of her old last name is a slip, but she decides against correcting it - if only to play up on any possible familiarity there may be there. "I wanted to reach out because - well, I'll be honest, I should have a long time ago. But I saw the news today, and it made me realise how remiss I had been in doing so."

As she closes the door behind her, she scratches at the back of her head. It brings her gaze to land on a notebook of hers, one she had been writing in just last night. It was her other Else related project, one she hadn't told anyone else about yet. At least, until now.

"If it's possible at some point, I'd like to arrange to speak with someone about Else's music. I- she was a good friend of mine, before she passed." There's a slight choke, barely audible, when Robyn forces herself to speak those words out loud. Moving to sit down at the couch by the table where the notebook sits, she slides it into her palm as she continues. "I have material of hers, recovered when- well, it's a long story. When I last saw her, back years ago. I also have personal recordings of one of those songs sung by myself that's- inadvertently gotten some airplay here in New York thanks to a friend of mine."

Flipping open the notebook, she quickly turns to the third page and stares at it. "I'd like to keep that cover in circulation, if possible, but I suppose that's something we can talk about. But I also have- a song. One Else and I wrote together, that I had been… considering recording, finally. And now I know who to reach out to about it. It's called Die Happy."

Her finger traces over each of the letters in the title at the top of the page - "Die Happy", the song she had overheard in a vision she would never get, of her first overlay almost two years ago now. She could still hear the song playing loud and clear in her mind, a collaboration where the Robyn Quinn and Else Kjelstrom of that world had teamed up on music and vocals respectively. She had been trying her best to recreate it based on what still echoed in the recesses of her mind, and it was basically done at this point.

She doesn't share it's extra temporal origins, though. It's not like anyone would believe her anyway. It would only cast doubt on it's authenticity, doubt Robyn doesn't possess. It's a lie she can live with, saying that she and Else wrote this at some point in the past.

She finishes off the message with her contact information and address, before hanging up the phone. A past of her feels bad for whoever has to field that call, and for whatever lawyer she's going to end up having to talk to.

Deep in her heart, though… through the ache she feels only good can come of this.

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