Identical Triplets?


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Scene Title Identical Triplets?
Synopsis Cat gets some insight into a person of interest.
Date January 3, 2009

Old Lucy's

Old Lucy's has a vibrant and lively feel to it, from the dark wooden floors to the shady crimson walls lit up by neon lights and many times, the flashing of cameras from the oft-crowded floor. The mirror behind the bar reflects prices of various drinks, bottles lined up, as well as the entire saloon as seen from the bartenders; bolted-down stools line the other side, and there are loose tables and chairs placed all around, though many times they find themselves pushed back for more space within the center of the saloon. A few speakers are placed at strategic places and around a raised stage to the far corner from the bar. Above the counter, an obviously well-used bar is hung; it is this that the girls working will use should there be dancing, which is one reason many patrons choose to come aside from the drinks. Across the bar and near the back, there is a door that leads to the owner's office and just inside a stairwell that leads a apartment on the floor above the bar.

Somewhere outside Old Lucy's, a Dodge Neon is parked in whatever spot was convenient. The driver had spotted the place and decided to have a look after she woke that morning in yet another hotel. Cat checked out, got breakfast somewhere, and set out on the streets of Nuked York City. It's perhaps 11:30 a. m. when she opens the door and steps inside, her eyes quietly scanning the interior as the door closes behind her. Jeans, a winter coat, and athletic shoes are her clothing; for gear she has the guitar case and backpack over opposite shoulders. She doesn't seem to be looking for anyone.

Niki is just getting in, this time of the morning. Bars aren't big for the morning activity cycle. She looks over as Cat comes in, and smiles. The place is nearly empty. "What can I get for you?" she asks, looking back to the other woman curiously.

"Stout," Cat replies, as she sets down her gear and settles onto one of the bar stools. Her features are pensive, there are signs of not having slept so well. One hand brushes through her hair slowly, and the eyes tinged with deep concerns settle on the blonde. The face instantly registers. Twice. It's her hope recognition doesn't occur on Niki's part; she isn't sure if the two versions she saw are the same woman putting on an act, a case of MPD, or option three: Identical twins. "Guinness stout," Cat specifies a second or three later.

Sure enough, the face is the same, but there isn't a single glimpse of recognition in those eyes. Which really doesn't narrow down the options, could be any of them, except that now the last would have to be amended to: identical triplets. "Sure. I just need to see your ID." she states. Cat doesn't look too old.

A pocket of her coat is reached into, and a wallet pulled out. She opens it to display her New York driving license, issued in mid September of last year. The photo is her, sure enough. Catherine A. Chesterfield. Date of birth is November 12, 1982. Her address is whatever adds up to apartment 101 at Dorchester Towers, she's an organ donor, five feet eight inches tall, doesn't need glasses, brown hair, brown eyes.

The wallet also holds, next to the license, a small document from the New York State Bar Association declaring the same Catherine Chesterfield as one of their members.

"I've not been carded in a while," she remarks quietly. "I almost feel twenty-one again."

Niki smiles. "Hey, it's the law. Got to check and all that sort of thing." She checks it, then passes it back, and pours Cat the requested Guinness. "Here you go. Early day, or late night?"

The law. She knows. A slight smile forms as the word law is spoken, and she flashes in the recesses of her brain. The exact segment of New York law which applies is viewed. She could quote it word for word. But she doesn't. "That it is," Cat replies, one hand taking the dark brew and the other pocketing the wallet. "Early day, I think. Probably haven't been open long today, for you."

The blonde smiles. "No, not very long at all for me." She doesn't press too much. Bartenders are expected to make chit-chat without being too intrusive, and she's doing her best at that.

Her mug is lifted and the contents tasted, the creamy head atop it leaving traces on her upper lip which she wipes away with fingertips and cleans by placing them briefly in her mouth. Cat's eyes close, it'd been a while since she's had the taste as more than a very vivid memory. It causes a flashback, given she's in the presence of this triplet, or… whatever she/they are. She sees the blonde and hears the guy screaming in pain. Then there's Gina, and the fuzzy patch that happened when Trask ran into her. Damned negators.

"I've not had alcohol since the ninth of December," she muses.

Niki looks over to Cat, bemused. "Intentional abstinance, or accidental?" She looks back to the brunette, as she goes about her work at the bar. She is unaware of the recollection…or even the events.

"I just hadn't felt like drinking," Cat replies with a wistful chuckle. Not exactly true, she knows; she felt like drinking but realized getting drunk would happen and with it being a spectacle. That was managed well enough when sober.

Niki nods. "I know that feeling sometimes. If you're in here this morning, you must really feel like it."

"I'm Cat," she offers, as her eyes drift over to the stage then back to the bartender. "You've got live performances here?"

Niki nods. "On occasion, yes. You looking for a gig? And Niki." she says, offering her own name; yet another piece of correlation to the information Phoenix has on her.

Click. Niki/Jessica. Blonde, model tall as recorded in earlier versions of the data. Mentally ill, possibly MPD. Enhanced strength. Company agent? But if she's several women in one body, she could be both. Or the current personality is a Company agent who earns extra money tending bar. The variables are many. To avoid the appearance of being adrift in thought, Cat glances over at the stage. "I could be," she answers. It'd be good, a place to play that doesn't connect to her already, leave her open to being found by Kazimir Hitlerite and his band of Genocidal Nazi Nutjobs. "Are there openings?"

Inwardly she scoffs. Someone commented on Niki being mentally ill? Shit. She's tame in comparison.

Niki remains unaware of Click as well. But she chuckles. "I wouldn't really know. I'm the new girl around here. You'd have to talk to Isabelle. Don't know why not though, if you're good enough. Not like we have live acts beating down the door around here."

There is further rumination within that brain on the nature of Niki/Jessica/Whoever. She isn't model tall, their heights are about the same and Cat doesn't think of herself as model tall. This, she decides, is probably the same person as was initially described as being liberated from the Company during the raid which got Claire captured. There could be hundreds or thousands of blonde Nikis in Nuked York, but the same face on three personalities sews it up. She forces the contemplation aside and reaches for the guitar case. A grin forms. "I don't know if I'm good enough, Niki."

Just the same she's on the move. Cat strides to the stage and opens the case to pull out a red Fender Strat and look for an amp to plug it into.

Niki chuckles at that, though and she watches the musician. "I'm not the one you need to make the call. But I'm not gonna argue about listening to some music either, so go for it."

She shrugs off her coat and leaves it on the floor, underneath it is a faded blue turtleneck. Then the guitar strap goes around her neck. The amp is found and plugged into; if there isn't one she has a small one of her own to use. Whichever proves true, she's soon running her fingers across the strings and frets to check the tuning. It takes just a few minutes to do this.

Her voice is quiet as she speaks, perhaps addressing the instrument in her hands, eyes on the strings. She thinks Niki won't be able to hear her talking, but could misjudge how sounds carry in here or the volume of her voice. "Okay, Courtney D," she starts, "remember how in bed, when I hit just the right spot, you'd make that sweet sound. I'm gonna use my fingers, and well, you know how it goes."

She begins to play, it's uptempo and in the rock genre. Not a recognizable tune, possibly one she created herself.

The bartender looks back at Cat. She's not really busy, so she leans on the bar, to watch the performance. So far, Cat seems nice enough, and as long as her voice is good, it shouldn't be a problem.

She can see it, picture the reaction. How the use of that name would make her place hands on hips and just glare daggers back at her for it. How the eyes would seem to have the fire of a thousand suns on hearing it. The fire, her spirit. A smile forms.

Something extra goes into her sound then as she plays. Lyrics follow, her voice a clear and strong soprano in the style of Benatar or Ann Wilson.

Niki listens, watching the performance. She's quiet while it goes on. Simple respect.

After a time her playing segues into something of a speed metal sort, without lyrics. But if it had some, they might be about using sledghammers to break someone's bones one by one until he cries for his mother and begs to die. When that stretch passes, Cat goes back to standard rock, something perhaps recognizable. Walking On The Sun.

Niki listens, and then grins when it becomes something recognizable. "Nice job." she offers.

On ending her performance some minutes later, after Walking On The Sun, Cat holds the instrument up in front of her and kisses the strings near the neck lightly. She speaks again, once more addressing it. "Excellent, Courtney D." She talks to her guitar and gave it a woman's name? Is she nuts? Or just eccentric like musicians tend to be?

"So," she aims at Niki moments later. "Good to feel a stage underfoot again."

It's a little weird. But Niki is trying not to judge. She tends to be pretty open-minded. "You sounded pretty good. If it were up to me, you'd have it. But like I said, best I can do is put in a good word."

The guitar is put away and brought with her, back to the bar, where stout is picked up and tasted. "I may come around looking for Isabelle some time. I tend to avoid structures, having things go by set times. If I play here, it'd probably be spur of the moment." Her pint is lifted. "We can work it out."

Niki looks back to her. "Mmm…don't know if she'll go for that. I mean, you can try. But Izzy tends to like things to go her way." Or at least, that's been Niki's experience.

"It is what it is," Cat replies, being reminded of why she hasn't played at the Wench, and the need to not develop a predictable schedule someone could key on her by. "I'm not exactly worried about money anyway. I could just rely on confidence and ballsiness, pass myself off as so good she's lucky to have me show up on my terms whenever I feel like it."

Niki laughs. "I'm the wrong person to ask about that. I had to come begging for a job, hat in hand."

"Was it a nice hat?" Cat asks, going for a little humor to cover the solemnity of not being able to explain her schedule aversion. More stout is taken in, as her eyes wander.

The blonde laughs. "Technically, I didn't even have a hat." she admits. "I just came back after a really bad time. So, not a lot of options at the time."

"What happened?" Cat asks quietly. She seems to have some understanding of bad times. Inwardly she decides Niki's tip will buy a hat of decent quality.

The blonde looks a little amused. "You sure? Most people come to bars to get away from their problems, not to get into other people's." she jokes.

"That's up to you, Niki," Cat offers. She doesn't seem to mind the use of her ear in any case, but she won't press. The pint leaves bar again, reaching her lips and being tasted soon after. It's about half gone now.

Niki explains, briefly, not figuring Cat really wants to hear about it. "I spent the last two years in a coma, after an accident. Kinda left me in a whole "start your life over again." state."

Her pint is lifted. "Welcome back to the waking world, Niki," Cat replies.

The blonde chuckles. She pours herself a Coke, enough to return the toast. "Thanks. Good to be back."

"I feel a little like I'm coming out of a fog myself," she quietly offers before drinking. "Shaking things off that don't want to let go. Gets closer each day." Inwardly the wheels are turning. Three personae she's seen, this the only one actually spoken to, in that MPD. And a two year coma, maybe this is the real one finally back in charge of the body. But she can't be sure.

Niki nods. "Day by day. That's the only way to take it, really. To surviving." She lifts her glass in her own toast.

Reciprocating, Cat seeks to touch glasses, then drinks. A short time later when the mug is empty she sets it down and pulls out a bit of cash to pay for it, along with a one hundred dollar bill for the tip. Not wanting to have protests happen over the amount, she puts it in a spot where it won't be seen until she's gone, using whatever time it takes to put the stout's cost into the till as cover. Her parting words, once the business is handled, are "See you next time, Niki."

Niki certainly WOULD protest if she were aware of it. But she rings up the stout off Cat's purchase, and nods to her. "Hope to see you play here again. Take care, Cat."

The door opens and closes, Cat is gone with her guitar case and backpack, but the large tip remains.

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