abby4_icon.gif colette_icon.gif delilah_icon.gif eileen_icon.gif fox_icon.gif hailey_icon.gif

juniper_icon.gif liette_icon.gif mala_icon.gif raith_icon.gif rupe_icon.gif tasha_icon.gif

Also featuring:

caliban_icon.gif lorraine_icon.gif

Scene Title Intermission
Synopsis As Aida breaks and opera-goers briefly retire to the lobby for drinks and refreshments, Messiah and the Ferry cross paths.
Date June 21, 2010

The Metropolitan Opera

Black is the traditional colour of mourners, and while the people have New York City have a lot to grieve about, it's also a popular choice. The theatre lobby is thick with it, but for everyone half dozen and people done up in monochrome, there are one or two dressed with the intention of representing the broad spectrum of colours visible to the human eye. That is to say, of the adults in attendance, Abigail and Delilah are not alone in their gowns of softest lavender and sage green.

Champagne flutes filled with sparkling rose liquid pass freely between hands. The liquor itself isn't free, but like the tickets to the opera, it's been sold at a reduced price in an attempt to encourage future patronage. Traditional red and white wines are also available at the bar along with squat glasses of watered down scotch and whiskey and non-alcoholic drinks like fresh juice, tea and coffee.

"Can we go to the museum next time?" The question, perhaps unsurprisingly, comes from Hailey who — arm still linked with Fox's — holds a half-finished plastic cup of bubbly orange soda between her hands. "I want to see a real pharaoh."

It's intermission, which means she has to speak a little louder than she normally might in order to be heard by the others, but the voices in the background and occasional tinkle of glass are at a companionable level. Eileen stands further apart, a glass of dark red wine balanced between her fingers as she seems to search the crowd for familiar faces. The seat beside her in the theatre sat empty for the first half of the show, but the expression on her own face is a patient if pensive one and the absence probably expected.

Tasha, it seems, has appointed herself the group's photographer, and is snapping away candid and posed photos of the younger girls with a slim lime-green camera, before she turns to Juniper with a shy smile, reaching for Colette. "Junie, can you take a photo of us… we… we don't have any," she murmurs, glancing at Colette, her cheeks growing a little rosy with the request. "And I may never see Colette in a dress ever again…" she teases. It's actually the second time she's seen the girl who's more of a tomboy than she is dressed like a girl, but she isn't going to reveal that and embarrass Colette further.

Over her shoulder, she grins at Hailey. "Museums are the best. I can totally take you to the museum, but the history ones aren't my area of expertise. I bet Cat could tell you all about pharoahs though."

Glass of champagne in hand, half of it gone and she's had one other when getting there. Abigail's a nervous nelly in large social situations with strangers. Is she behaving properly, has etiquette been breached? Is there a run in her stockings, oh lord she's making a fool of herself. Eileen is all too familiar with this aspect of the pink hued woman. Been there, done that, it turned out well regardless. She stands with the group, glancing around at the walls, one hand behind her back, picking at her thumbnail with forefinger, licking her lips and occasionally glancing down to the kids to make sure there's no strays they need to reel back in.

Delilah has done her best to stick with the younger girls just in case, having sat by them as well. She is with the little gaggle of girls in the lobby, sipping at a glass of juice as she mulls over the first part of the opera itself. Hailey's talk of museums gets her attention after a bit, and Dee laughs when Tasha makes a suggestion. "Cat is probably the best tour guide ever. I like museums too, but I like zoos more."

Fox stands beside Hailey, and intermittently sips a different juice from her own cup, while watching so many people she doesn't know commiserate around. "Kind of stuffy in here, isn't it?", she observes, but it doesn't look like she's going to pass out or anything. Then, glancing down at Hailey's cup, she asks, "Can I try a sip of that?"

Grinning like an idiot Colette leans in and wraps an arm around Tasha, the glittering gemstones of her butterfly-like bracelet the only splash of color on her body. Juniper offers a lopsided smile as she turns to her purse and takes out a small digital camera, turning it on and taking a few steps back, smiling sheepishly as she lifts it up, furrows her brows and watches as Colette leans in a little closer. As Juniper's walking backwards though, she bumps straight into someone behind her.

Startling, Juniper turns around, looking up to a lanky, bearded man with long and somewhat unkempt black hair. "Oh— I… my apologies, miss…" he notes with a touch of one hand to Juniper's shoulder. "Sorry I'm completely in your way, aren't I?" Flashing a smile, the man leans out of the way and stares over Juniper's shoulder at Colette and Tasha for a moment, his brows furrowing in deep thought as Juniper squeaks out, "Smile!" before the flash snaps a shot of the pair together.

"You know, I couldn't help but hear you girls talking about history museums…" that man Juniper bumped into comments, his brows furrowed as he offers a look to Delilah and then the younger girls before finally settling his stare on Eileen. "I'm actually a history professor… ah, over at Columbia, and it's great to hear you kids interested in that sort've thing, and out here getting some culture."

The bearded man's eyes lift up to Eileen again, brows furrowed and a smile spread across his lips before he passes his gaze over to Raith. "You must be their chaperone for the evening…" there's a slow, steady pace as he moves to cover the distance between them, hand held out in greeting. "My name's Rupert Carmichael," he introduces with a broad smile, "it's nice to see someone getting our children some culture."

As Rupert approaches, Liette offers him an askance look, her head tilted to the side and brows furrowed where she stands beside Raith, hiding her smile with a folded copy of the Opera's program.

"Who's this little darling?" Rupert asks pointedly as he looks down to Liette, then up to Raith, smiling broadly. "She seems to be enjoying herself…"

Large social situations with strangers make Abigail nervous. If anything, they are one of the places were Raith feels right at home, the perfect chance to mingle among the masses and pick up tidbits and tidpieces of gossip and information. A chance he does not exploit to its full potential for, after all, he is not unaccompanied this time, and the best he squeaks out of strangers here and there is idle smalltalk. In a way, it serves two purposes, the first to show Lorraine that his vanishing caused her to miss, at most, a relationship with a con artist that likely would have been very rocky, given the number of gunfights and kidnapping attempts seem to happen around him. The second, more important purpose is to begin teaching Liette how to avoid con artists.

And wouldn't you know it? The perfect opportunity seems to have fallen right into their laps! Of course, it would have to happen while Lorraine has stepped away, removing a chance for him to show off how awesome he is, but alas. "Alas, sir, I'm just here to look pretty," Raith replies to this 'Rupert Carmichael' with a small smile. Nevertheless, he shakes the hand that is offered, just once and very firmly, so that there will be no question which of the two men is in charge of the space they are jointly occupying. I'm alpha. "Her first Italian opera," he adds with a glance towards Liette, "I suspect her taste in culture comes from her mother, really, but I'll take whatever I can. I've been away for so long, any time together is absolutely the best possible." A beat.

"History," he says, "It's a very challenging field, if you ask me, which I can only assume it part of what makes it so appealing. Do you happen to have a certain specialty?"

The word zoo has Hailey turning blue eyes up at Delilah. "They have one in Central Park," she says, a wistful hint in her small voice, "but the Bronx Zoo is bigger and they have snow leopards." If there's one place she'd rather go than the museum to see pharaohs and mummies, it's the zoo. She offers Fox her cup. "It tickles a bit," she warns the other girl. "My eyes are watering."

Mala leans against Delilah's side, picking at the gold foil surrounding the Belgian chocolate bar she purchased from the concession stand with her pocket money, though she hasn't touched the chocolate itself yet. It looks fancy, and two dollars is a lot of money for a ten-year-old. Both she and Hailey inevitably find their gazes drawn toward the stranger, eyes fixed on Rupert's outstretched hand and Raith's clasped around it.

Eileen's are considerably shaper. Her jaw sets, lips pressed into a thin, disapproving line that curves around the rim of her wine glass.

Scruffy bearded men making nice with little girls makes Tasha a little suspicious as well. She smiles and murmurs her thanks to Juniper, taking the camera back, though not letting her hand drop from Colette's waist as she turns to listen to Rupert speak to Raith. The fact that the rest of them have been discounted as children makes her a little angry, as well as the implication that children don't have any culture. She snaps a few pictures of the children talking, then of the lobby's artwork in general, the starbursts hanging from the ceiling and the metal work circles at the front of the lobby catching her artist's eye.

Abigail nearly gives herself whiplash at the sound of that voice introducing itself as Rupert Carmichael, face turning first, followed by body so quickly that the skirt of her dress flares out. The name that has come from the lips of two people and associated with Messiah and someone to be careful around seems to be associated with someone who doesn't look like they have nefarious plans on the citizenry of New York. The rest of the champagne is tipped back, unladylike gulp that tickles at the back of her nose and Abigail maneuvers herself to Eileen, touching the woman's elbow and whispering into the woman's ear in a low low volume meant for her only.

"Messiah. High up. Someone important. This isn't… good" Possibly overstatement, possibly understatement. How she knows, one can ask her later. "Peter said to be very careful of him" Abigail's blue eye's are latched onto the individual in question as he makes nice with Raith and schmoozes, worry, fear, distrust. It's a very good thing she took a pill or there'd be heat coming off her.

Delilah allows her arm to hover around Mala's shoulders, a hen's wing guarding of a fluffy little chicklet. She watches the stranger approach Raith from where she stays with the girls, for all the world seeming just like a mossy colored mama bird. Though Rupe gets a few seconds of squinting, she does eventually relocate her attention to Hailey, smiling. "I haven't been to the Bronx Zoo in a long time. There are some nice places outside of the city, too, preserves and things. And it's gotten so nice- maybe we can all go sometime. I'm sure the boys would like to come too, don't you think?"

"Thanks," Fox says as she accepts Hailey's cup and takes a sip, then peers into it curiously before taking one more sip, and hands it back to her friend. "A zoo trip *would* be fun," she agrees. "Or maybe an aquarium. But I guess the zoo would be more interesting for you, wouldn't it?", she says knowingly. She looks down to her shoes, finding them a bit uncomfortable after all this standing, but there's not a lot she can do about it right now.

"Ancient cultures, the cradle of civilization kind," is Rupert's belated answer as his hand slides from Raith's and his attention lingers on Liette for a moment too long before alighting to her father, "I've always been a fan of the Sumerian culture. Though I teach more about cultural revolutions these days, its more topical. One of my last lectures was comparing the current social and political climate of the United States to that of Portugal leading up to the Carnation Revolution in the seventies. The end of a totalitarian government and an era of secret police after a violent civilian and military uprising."

Liette squeezes Raith's hand when tiny fingers find it, and she leans in to say, "I'm… gonna go see where moms ran off to…" Sure, maybe it's a lisp, or you know maybe Raith Jensen's just that big of a pimp. Or, you know, the more obvious answer of a replicator wife — sure. When the blonde girl slides her fingers from his calloused hand as she steps back and towards the silhouette of a blonde woman standing just within eyesight.

Rupert's brows furrow together as he watches Liette leave, then focuses back up on Raith. "History can be tricky, but I enjoy educating people about the verisimilitude of…" Rupert slinks to the side brows creased and posture uneven, "historical similarities. We do live in the most interesting times possible."

If there was anything Colette would be the least interested it it's history and especially people talking about history. Following Tasha, she seems disconnected from the conversation, her mismatched eyes up to the ceiling and then over to the brunette snapping photographs. "We should make a scrap book for us," Colette offers quietly, her nose wrinkling as a smile crosses her lips. "Pictures of the stuff we do, everybody we know…" there's a furrow of her brows. "Tasha— " mismatches eyed flick to meet darker ones, "you're actually— you're a genius."

Whatever Colette's epiphany just was, Juniper isn't a part of it. Having slinked over to Delilah, Mala, Hailey and Fox. "You're a regular ol' momma' hen aren't ya?" There's a look up and down Delilah ad Juniper flashes her a smile. "You're sort've like Eric," Juniper says as she rests a hand on Mala's head with a smile. "He gets along with them all really good too. Cept— you know— you're a touch smaller."

When Liette slips away, Raith's eyes follow her, and stay fixed on her even once Rupert begins to speak again. However, he very obviously tilts his head in the other man's direction: His eyes may not be on this professor fellow, but his attention certainly is. "I'm sure it's fascinating," he begins, before finally taking his attention off Liette and focusing it back on Rupert, "But I've no mind for history. Facts and recounts and records just… well, I can never remember them, never for long. Language is my forte."

As he fills in his own details, Raith casually steps just to the side and turns gradually, coming to face his conversation companion from his left side (unless he likewise turns), better enabling him to easily and quickly toss his focus between Rupert and Liette. Or to manhandle Rupert, if he ends up needing to. "Contemporary, mainly, although I've developed recently an interest in the variety of repressed languages that dot the world cultural landscape. Kurdish is the most interesting to me, right now. Alas, if I only had more time for studies but, such is my life. Do you study much of the present to bolster your understanding of the past?"

Eileen lowers the wine glass from her lips, rim stained red where some of her lipstick has rubbed off. "I know," she tells Abigail in a voice that doesn't require her to lower it. Fingers drift to the hand at her elbow and linger there in a display of solidarity and reassurance. It's a public venue and the lobby is crowded; Bill Dean might have been bold enough to move on his enemies in this scenario, but based on what little the Englishwoman knows about Rupert Carmichael, she's confident that they aren't in any immediate danger.

All of a sudden, there's a hand on Abigail's shoulder as well, and a moment later the familiar scent of cigar smoke and expensive French cologne tempered by bitter scotch is wrapping her senses in its embrace. Caliban doesn't offer a greeting of any kind. Either he possesses the same knowledge Abigail and Eileen do, or he's intuitive enough to realize there's something horrifically amiss with the scene playing out in front of him.

"Sometimes zoos have aquariums in them," Hailey feebly offers Fox. "Like a reptile house?" She's disengaged from the conversation Rupert and Raith are having, much more interested in finding a garbage can she can dispose of her soda in than she is learning about anything Sumerian.

Leaving Abigail in the protection of Caliban's company, Eileen closes some of the distance between herself, Rupert and Raith, heels clicking like castanets against the lobby's floor. "Jensen," she chides, "you don't give yourself nearly enough credit."

Eileen knows and there's a sigh of relief that even Caliban's hand on Abby's shoulder can't conjure up. Though there's a measure of safety in knowing that he is there and the Linderman Group is keeping an eye on their responsibilities, obligations and charges. "Robert" Murmured to him, going off with him to presumably talk, or something.

"Genius? What did I say?" Tasha says, grinning at Colette's exuberant proclamation even if she doesn't know what exactly she said or did that makes her a genius. "I mean, I don't want to disagree or anything… Ooh, come here…" she reaches and tugs Colette to her left a little, trying to center her just so, glancing up at the dramatic angles of the stairs swooping down. "Perfect," she says, snapping a picture — to anyone glancing at her, it would look like she's trying to compose the perfect shot, but just over the bare shoulder of Colette is a clean shot of Rupert as he stands talking to Raith, visible behind the other shoulder — much like the angel and the devil in a cartoon.

Once that shot's taken, she winks. "Stay there a second…" And embarrassingly, perhaps, she kneels down, pulling the long skirt to the side so that her bare knees instead of the dress touch the red carpet, and she shoots a second picture — the angle giving a cleaner and more dramatic shot without the creepy bearded guy lurking over Colette's shoulder. "Gorgeous. And no, I'm not looking up your skirt." Tasha rises.

"Give it a few more months, Junebug, I'll catch up to him." Delilah says this with the utmost seriousness, glancing past the other redhead to get a second look at the man Raith is speaking with. Her attention is brought back when Hailey offers her tidbits. "That's right. And some have sea mammal exhibits, to boot. I have never gone into those ones where you can swim with dolphins, but it seems very neat, doesn't it?" Her hand motions to the nearest bin to them, just behind Hailey by a few steps. Picking up on movements is not terribly hard. If anything, she is doing well in keeping them occupied during the intermission. "It's a definite, then? A zoo trip sometime?"

Fox nods to Hailey. "Zoo or aquarium, or planetarium…they'd all be fun," she says as she slips her empty cup into her friend's empty cup and takes them both. "I think I'll take a trip to the little witch's room while I can; I can toss the cups out," she offers as she disentangles herself. "I need to sprinkle some cool water on my face anyway," she adds. With that, she turns and quietly slips out of the crowd as she goes looking for the washrooms.

Face flushing red and brows scrunching up as much as her nose, Colette's look at Tasha is a playfully embarrassed one. "You're terrible," she teasingly notes with a brush of one hand self-consciously over her hair to make sure it's still in place. "You're also a genius because I think I figured out the dumbass obvious answer to something I've been trying to figure out forever." Colette's eyes roll at that, disappointed in herself. "You— remember how I said that Tamara can't remember stuff really well, right? Well… I got her a journal once, and she sort've politely declined. I figured out later that she's got some sorta' reading difficulty, or— it looks like that anyway. I dunno if it's her ability's fault or… prior, but…"

Crossing bare arms over her chest, Colette's posture looks less and less ladylike as she eases more into her own mannerisms. "A picture book, of— I dunno, us, her, everything. My dad, her puppy… everything she could forget. I dunno if it'd help but— picture's worth a thousand words, right?"

Rupert Carmichael would disagree vehemently with Colette, had he heard her, but across the way with Jensen Raith and the encroaching Eileen Ruskin, Rupert Carmichael is playing at a different game right now. "Current events are bread and butter, and as for languages, I'm as fluent as you can get in Sumerian… which for a dead language is pretty good." Rupert's eyes drift over to Eileen when she insinuates herself into the conversation.

"Well, I was about to remind you that you didn't introduce yourself," Rupert says indirectly to Raith, "but I'll take a pass and ask you to introduce me to your lovely…" he looks back and forth between them both, "daughter?" It's almost like he's delivering some sort of double entrndre, but it's hard to say.

"Rupert Carmichael," he offers with a hand outstretched to Eileen, "international man of mystery if anyone asks."

Raith gives a bemused glance to Eileen, before turning his now amused eyes back to Rupert. "Daughter-in-law," he says, "Close, though." Just a slight correction. "Eileen Spurling…."

The sentence trails off as Raith again looks to where Liette went. The mess with Messiah with Iron Man and the Boy Who Could Fly still reasonably fresh in his mind, this is not a situation he is not entirely comfortable with. "Scusami, per favore," he says with a brief glance to both Eileen and Rupert, tipping his hat to the evening's entertainment at the same time, "My date has wandered off." His excuse given, Raith turns and walks into the rest of the crowd, in search of his little girl. She knows well enough not to walk off with strangers, sure, but what's she going to do if she can't say 'no' no matter how she tries to?


"It's not that hot in here," Hailey says, biting her thumbnail between her teeth, lips pursed as she watches Fox's retreating back disappear into the crowd. "Maybe she's getting sick." And this time it's a suggestion, not a question, her voice a little quivery with worry. Everyone knows what happened to Delilah when she got sick, and the thought of her friend being forced into quarantine makes the tiny blonde's face turn ashen.

Raith is old enough to be Eileen's father, but as she takes Rupert's hand, silver rings shimmering in the lobby's low lighting, her companion makes the correction for her. "That's a shame," she says, "I know so many international men of mystery already." One of them is showing her his back, and she can't blame him for it. If they knew Messiah would be here, they'd never have brought Liette with them. Locating his daughter and ushering her back into the theatre is a priority they both share. "Are you very sure?"

"Fox," Tasha says, glancing at Colette, then following the younger girl toward the bathroom. Sure, twelve is probably old enough to go the ladies' room and back by one's self, but Tasha can tell that things have gotten tense with Rupert around, and she's not going to let any of their young charges out of their sight for very long. "Wait up," she calls. "Anyone else have to go, come with me," she adds, waving her hands to join her. She waits a beat to see if there are any takers, grabbing any small hands, and then following Fox to the restroom.

"I'll come! We've all got a few minutes, why don't we use it to get ourselves together for the second part?" It's more of a demand than a real suggestion- as Delilah is now giving the younger girls a bit of a pleading set of tuggings, by shoulder or wrist. She knows it may be a good idea too, if just because one of them is heading for the restroom anyway.

Fox pauses and waits for her 'entourage' to catch up before continuing to the washroom, feeling embarrassed by the pilgrimmage she seems to have started. Once inside, she disposes of the cups, and makes her way to the sink to wash her hands and splash some cool water on her face. "I just felt like it was stuffy out there and needed to freshen up," she says to Hailey.

"Wh— " Colette's oblivious, turning around and offering a look to Tasha before jolting into movement behind her. "Likewise ladies," Colette offers with a raise of brows, turning around to walk backwards for a moment, "C'mon, we're all supposed t'go in a flock or something, I hear that's how it's done." Being oblivious to her environment is one thing, being oblivious to how it is to act like a girl is another. But are, ultimately, somewhat depressing sentiments and both shadow her on the way into the bathroom.

"Guess we're like a gaggle then, an' momma Goose is peein' for two!" Juniper says oh so brusquely, clearly having learned her manners around Colette for as long as they've known each other. It's hard not to imagine that some of the Nichols' girl's bad habits rubbed off on her. But really, peeing for two?

"Maybe not international," is said smirkingly by Rupert, and with Raith gone there's the hint of a smile creeping up on his lips. "You and I have a lot to talk about, Eileen…" Voice lower now, there's still an urgency in Rupert's voice. "We have similar ideals, similar goals, and I think once our differences are set aside… you and I could call each other allies." Lifting his brows up, Rupert watches Eileen thoughtfully for a moment, watches as Colette, Delilah and the other girls walk past, then turns his gaze back to the Englishwoman.

"Carmichael manor, at your leisure, you'll have an open invitation. I think an airing of our grievances and a look towards the future will be beneficial to us both. You are, after all, a Vanguard of your people."

It may not have been a subtle delivery, but the point is there; There's no masks in this opera house.

Inside the bathroom, Hailey unravels a strip of paper towel from the roll and offers it to Fox so she has something to dry her face and hands with. "We should probably go back in soon," she says. "Nobody's gonna take our seats, right?"

Mala, never more than a few paces from Delilah's side, curls her fingers around the edge of the bathroom counter and hikes herself up onto the tips of her toes, checking her butterfly bow in the mirror. It's still there, but just to be sure she reaches up and brushes her fingers along the edge of the ribbon. On the other side of the bathroom, a pair of older women are doing the same thing but with their makeup, thick black brushes and powder foundation in hand. "He was weird," she says to no one in particular, and who she's talking about should be obvious to everyone cloistered around the sinks.

Whatever's going on outside between Rupert and Eileen is a mystery, but it won't last, and neither will Abigail's clandestine conversation in a nearby stairwell with Caliban.

A bell is chiming. Two minute warning.

"Thanks," Fox says to Hailey as she takes the paper towel and dries off. "I feel better now. No, I think it would be obviously rude for anyone to take someone else's seat during the intermission," she muses.

"No one will take our seats. They're assigned, and if they do, we get to get an usher to kick them out," Tasha says with a grin toward Mala. The bell chiming gets her attention, and she throws away the paper towel and holds the doors for the girls to exit, along with a pair of little old ladies in lavender dresses and red hats. "When you grow old, never wear purple," Tasha whispers to Juniper as she follows the group of young ladies out into the lobby. "Act 2 awaits… hurry so we don't miss anything."

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License