ethan_icon.gif francois_icon.gif

Scene Title Inneresting
Synopsis Stories are traded and compared, before Ethan and Francois go to explore the Russian town and give it the same compare/contrast treatment.
Date November 23, 2009

Russia: Spektor Home

Erected at the turn of the century, the Spektor home is a two-story dwelling on the outskirts of Ryazan city. Camouflaged by trees, its brown brickwork exterior gives the house a dated appearance befitting of region; at one time, it might have belonged to the descendants of Russian nobility with a fondness for Art Nouveau, but today it's owned by a university professor and his wife, a retired cellist who once played with the Moscow Philharmonic Orchestra. Although there is no attached garage or carport to shelter vehicles from the elements, a long driveway of paved rock leads up to the front of the estate, its entryway covered by a stone archway decorated with potted flowers and plants, some in bloom, others brittle, but all tended to with loving care by the lady of the house.

Inside, the front doors open into a foyer with hardwood floors and an ornate staircase that leads up to the second level where the guest bedrooms and bathrooms are located. The downstairs living area is compromised of several small sitting rooms, a sizable kitchen off-limits to visitors and a dining room for entertaining those same visitors, complete with a glass table large enough to seat eight. While the floors are in good condition for being so old, the house's owners have made an effort to keep it from getting anymore scratched and scuffed than it already is by scattering silk and woolen throw rugs throughout both the first floor and the second. It's clear that they've done their job; not one is as vibrant or resplendent as it was when it was first woven back in Iran, Iraq, India or wherever else it originated from, though much of the colour still shows through.

The shavings of the little wooden block fall into the small trashcan in the kitchen. His carving has improved significantly. After all, to get to carnegie hall you have to practice, practice, practice. The knife works it way neatls around the forming figurine. Which will eventually be a tiny little wolf. Though only the front of the wooden mammal is finished. The little wolf is struggling through his formative stage with the help of the little tiny knife that cut cut cuts at his hind quarters.

Ethan has his back pressed against the wall, seated on the floor, with the small trashcan tilted over against his leg as he shaves the little wolf. His head tilts back, some of the strokes done without his immediate attention. He's getting much better. Looking back down he squints a little at the wolf, before placing the knife down. Dropping the wolf he reaches up to pull his hood up over his bald widdle head.

"Knew there was a fucking reason I never came back to Russia." The Wolf… The more human one growls.

For some reason, no one is in the kitchen, or at least, not yet. It might be why Francois is headed there now, to beat the crush to get to coffee, tea, or whatever's been provided for them to partake. A few moments of silence and peace before Katarina is filling the room with her presence, clattering pans and plates, being assisted in the washing up, only for it all to repeat come dinner time. But right now, Francois fancies himself alone when he steps into the kitchen, his feet in socks, jeans pulled on, a large and warm sweater drowning his torso with his arms crossed around his torso against the chill steeped in the air.

It's the sound of Ethan's muttered voice, though, that alerts him of otherwise, and he peers around the corner towards the man, hunched where he is with his set down knife and discarded wolf wood carving. A blink passes, before he asks, politely, "Why are you on the floor? You'll become cold."

"Was born cold, monsieur."

"Too late for that." Another chip comes off the wolf as he redoubles his work. "Physically or metaphorically, it was raining pretty hard that night in England… or wherever it was." Some of the flakes of wolf wood, fall off into his lap. It is this, not Francois' concern which causes him to rise. Patting off his legs, the Brit sets the Wolf down on the counter, placing the knife down beside his little figurine.

"Early to bed early to rise, my friend?" Ethan asks gently, twirling his knife around a little on the counter before turning to face him squarely. "So. How are you involved in all this, Francois?"

Francois gives a curt nod of that assessment re: his particular circadian rhythm, looking Ethan up and down as if sizing him up were an appropriate gesture for the early, cosy morning in a sleepy Russia. One glance behind his shoulder, before he's shuffling on further into the kitchen, patient in his exploration in that he doesn't immediately go to open and touching everything, eyes of blueish green roaming over the counter tops and the furniture.

"I was before your time. An old— old enemy of Volken's. My ability used to be that of Abigail Beauchamp's, before she too lost it to another. I am involved because apparently, my knowledge of the Vanguard's beginnings might be useful, although I am outdated by, almost, fifteen years."

"And how is it you are so old, I think I could have more respect for you if you had grey hair, perhaps a moustache." Ethan intones, sizing the other man up in turn. "Some type of Evolved fanagled weird shit." Dismissing the answer before he hears it, Ethan takes a step to the side to observe the other man. Folding his arms over his chest, the man tilts his head to the side. "'E was like a father to me. Found me after I killed my father. Directly after in fact. My father turned out to be evolved.. Killed 'im. Old man noted I had an ability with it. 'ired me and.. the rest is fuckin' 'istory."

"'ow bout you, old man?"

A tilt of his head conveys oui: some type of Evolved finagled weird shit. There is a sassy little head tilt around the word respect, too, but Francois doesn't opt to pick a fight, just nods his agreement that a few greys probably wouldn't go amiss in the shaggy mass of vainly cut hair. "That cannot be all the history, or I'm afraid you would be one of those we're set to track down, is that not so? Tell me how you came to be his enemy, and I will tell you how he became mine."

This proposition is made matter-of-fact, a gesture towards Ethan before Francois is pulling out a chair at the table, levering himself to sit down.

"Just a few things, really. Threatened something important to me. /Pushed/ me, in a few ways 'e shouldn't 'ave. I don't like 'oldin grudges, so I take them out. 'e tried 'umiliatin' me. Let me do all the work in New York and tried to fuckin' sandbag me, doublefuckin' cross me. Fucker." A tiny drop of spit arcs out of Ethan's mouth and fliiies all the way over to the sink. Gooooal. Ethan glares over at the other man as if he were Kazimir. "Wasn't as smart as 'e thought. And I was 'is fuckin' Brutus."

Ethan leans back slightly, placing his rear on the counter. "I should be dead, should be killed, but I'm being offered amnesty. Only in this fuckin' world, right?"

"I should be dead also, so we have this in common." Not much else, if Francois' brittle tone is to convey anything at all. Still, he doesn't seem unfriendly or overtly suspicious, folding his arms on the table top and leaning casual, tiredly, one hand up to rub his face where stubble is growing through up towards his cheeks, down his throat. "Only in this world. I met Kazimir Volken in the '40s, after I was arrested and transported to a concentration camp. He was a scientist and I, his subject. I survived."

Which is where he seems willing to leave the rest of that story. "Afterwards, I spent much time trying to find him again, and stop him. After I knew I could not, I gathered information so that the one that came after me would be better armed to face him. But the rest is history, as you say. I did not succeed, but perhaps I will in this lifetime, oui?"

"If at first you don't succeed, get a bigger gun, and try try again. Or something like that, oui." The last word is stated with a certain level flatness. "I am sorry you had to go through that. No one should 'ave to live through that kind of 'orror." Says the man who launched rocket propelled grenades into a high-school.

"So you no longer 'ave an ability? Or you are immortal or what?" Ethan asks, straightening up and pacing the perimeter of the kitchen as he eyes the other man.

There's a phrase of muttered French, a thank you for the other man's sympathy, but no more than that and barely loud enough to count for conversation. As Ethan paces, Francois remains seated where he is at the table, comfortably, but he watches Ethan throughout with a focus that's starting to finally cut through the bleariness a chilly morning can bring. As if not completely convinced that shifting his attention would be wise. "It is complicated. My ability is unique, in the way that Volken's was unique. Neither of them were originally ours - passed on." A hand gesture, as if one vague swipe of a lazy wrist flick could indicate the vast quantities of time he refers to. "My ability went on to Abigail. I understand that his ability has moved on after his death as well. The difference is that he is dead, and I was rescued."

A beat, and then a brisk nod, hands clasping in front of him. "So, non, I have no ability. No healing, or immortality."

"Roight. So your powers are like opposites of good and evil forever battling each other and passing on from dick'ead to dick'ead. Not saying you're a dick'ead just.." Yeah he is. Bringing his pacing to a pause, Ethan leans forward to place his hands on top of the table. "That's very inneresting and incredibly boring at the same time. Not saying you're boring just…" A shrug.

Ethan shoves himself back up to his full height. "So. Frankie. Ever been to Russia before? In particular…" He gestures to the window. "Wherever the fuck we are."

Eyebrows raise at this scathing assessment of his history's literary worth, which, you know. For a man who writes journals, perhaps it's a fair point. "My apologies, monsieur. It probably seems more boring now that I am not a part of it." That's punctuated by the sound of the chair scraping against the kitchen floor, as Francois braces his hands against the edge of the table and levers himself back up to stand. "But it is why I am here, all the same. They offered me nothing like amnesty, only honour."

This is not stated completely straightly - there's a wry curl to his smile, arms coming to fold along his torso. "I have been here before, some decades ago. It hasn't changed at all, as far as I can tell, although I intend to go exploring, if you'd like to join me."

"I'm sure something's changed." Ethan points out, and he's completely willing to go find that thing. "Never 'ad a nickname, Francois?" The Wolf asks, tilting a brow at the other man. He walks behind the other man, smirking a bit. "Exploring, that sounds great. Maybe we can find what we're after on a 'alf-'our stroll, then we can get th'fuck out of 'ere." He falls silent. "That FBI fucker up there is Russian. The woman, she 'as perfect recall and likes to pretend she can speak Russian. Other than that," He gestures to the pair of them. "Fuckin' translators. 'ow do you speak it? Lived in Russia in your ancient days?"

"I have had nicknames. I just do not like that one. You can call me Francois until you find one that pleases us both, perhaps." Smile! Not that Francois isn't aware that saying you don't like something is the quickest way to get it when it comes to such personalities, but it's a necessary sacrifice in the name of honesty. "As for Russian, I know it— " A hand goes up, seesaws. "— comme çi comme ça. I lived in Russia for a time, oui, as I learned English while I was in America, Spanish while in South America, if only a little. When did you learn French?"

"I was much smarter than th'other kids in school. Got bored with regular studies, picked up some of my own. Spanish. Russian. French." He tilts his head at the other man. "Looks like we're two of a kind." He growls dully, arching a brow slowly. Hmm. "Military encouraged knowing other languages. 'ow about you, military man, Francis?" Ethan asks, tucking his hands into his pockets as he leans against the doorframe leading out of the kitchen.

There is no objection to Francis, this time, no interruption to Francois' silent assessment about what it means to be of a kind with Ethan Holden, accompanied with another sweeping look up and down. Hmm. "Ah, non. Not exactly. I was a part of the French Resistance, and some would say that running with soldiers might make you one. Or perhaps, being arrested with them would suffice also."

A gesture, now, to the door. Shall we?

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