Invisible Tape


delilah_icon.gif gretchen_icon.gif sable_icon.gif

Scene Title Invisible Tape
Synopsis Delilah and Sable discover that between Liberty or Death, there is a grey area.
Date March 28, 2011

The Octagon: Delilah's Apartment

The apartments of the Octagon are among some of the most prime pieces of rental real-estate in New York City. Bright, open, and clean, these apartments are all painted an eggshell white and feature floor-to-ceiling windows that offer a sweeping, unobstructed view of the East River and Manhattan skyline. Hardwood floors spread from wall to wall and through the spacious bedrooms and private laundry rooms complete with washer/dryer utilities.

The open-concept kitchen in the apartment features stainless steel appliances, polished granite countertops, cherry finished cabinets and ceramic floor tile with all the convenience of a modern kitchen. The bathrooms are finished with classic subway wall tile and porcelain floor tile in bathrooms with elegantly designed corner-set curved showers wproviding more spacious shower area along with porcelain pedestal sinks.

Each apartment comes in two or three bedroom designs, each with spacious walk-in closets with individually controlled heating and cooling. The apartment is also set up with free Cable TV and Internet hook-ups in multiple locations.

Thud thud thud.

A fist banging knocks on the door that are designed to rouse, seeing as it's a quarter passed seven in the morning by the time Delilah's apartment is being confronted with an invader. Well. An invader inasmuch as it's via sound only, otherwise waiting wearily outside and consulting her clipboard, brown locks bound back at the nape of her neck and a sweater pulled on against the still chilly outdoors at this hour. It's not the only noise, her knocking — there's the periodic open-shut of doors going on down the hallway, the whisper of footsteps of people moving passed Gretchen. The building— and indeed the street outside— is oddly busy for the hour.

It's a commotion, but a drowsy, kind of sedate commotion. Her DoEA plastic badge, dangling from a strap on her neck, marks her like the press get marked as a vague figure of dubiously wielded athority, which might be a bit more reassuring than those who do so with guns. Unless you really hate paperwork.

If her schedules had not been so drastically changed beginning in November, Delilah would probably still be asleep in bed. But as it stands, she has been steadily getting up early every morning to be Mum to the tyke in the next room. Sometimes Sable helps, sometimes not- Delilah isn't fickle about the other young woman's sleep patterns. It won't do to try making a nocturnal creature more diurnal anyhow.

When the knock comes, Delilah certainly isn't physically ready for it- her hair is knotted at the back of her neck, messily lovely, as Sable might say, and there's been no makeup, no shower, no getting dressed in more than cloth pants and a lounge robe. Slippers squeak around kitchen tile for a few moments before Dee is able to literally pry Walter off of her, much to his hungry dissatisfaction.

Before there is really any time for more knocking, he's wailing a little- then Samson is whining and stomping around in her way, and the redhead is letting out a frustrated "Stop it- Both of you-" God. She calls to the door. "One moment! Sable, are you up? I can't get the door! Move, Samson, come on now…"

Perhaps Sable, within the intensity of her sapphic artist's spirit, sleeps according to the cycle of the moon, or the tides, or some other natural phenomenon of waxing and waning. Horrifically early mornings are as common as afternoon wakings, though when finding her perched over coffee in the kitchen, the first question is 'did she go to bed yet?'. Though usually the freshness of her bedhead can answer that question. Less messily lovely than messily cute, or so she can hope.

Whatever the gibbousness of the sun's compact mirror, it turns out Sable has been active lately. Her energy has been notable, plus her interest in sleep less. Fucked up dreams, lately. She'd rather be a sunlit space - they make the colors of Delilah's decor glow. So she rises with the sun.

"Mm jss brrr-" is garbled blather that turns into a frustrated growl and then a short, sharp spit. Sable appears shortly, rabid with toothpaste, a toothbrush in hand. "I'm jus' brushin' my choppers," she says, needlessly maybe, "whatsit- th' door?" Yellow eyes cut over to the portal in question, and - after a moment - she shambles over with a certain wariness. Who would visit this early? What news is so punctual? She eases it open just wide enough to let her slim frame fill the aperture. Blink blink.

"Mornin'. What's brings y'?"

"Delilah Trafford?"

Gretchen can't be much older than the ladies of the residence — fresh out of college and the kind of person to be holding a clipboard in the first place, she darts a glance passed Sable, then consults the item in her hands once more. "Or— Raven Deee— Diego? My name is Gretchen, I work with the Department of Evolved Affairs. I'm hoping not to take too much of your time?" It's said in the harrassed tone of someone who might care more about her own time than the person standing opposite her, especially when her words rattle out before she can even clarify which girl she's even speaking to.

"Oops— " She steps halfway into the apartment, and out of the way of a man thudding his way down the hall, hefting a suitcase and another on wheels trailing after him, a woman in his wake clutching an open, cardboard box of things, disappearing out of sight — although not before her heels kick up as she takes off at a low level hover after her partner. This is kind of thing is difficult to not get used to, when the whole building is full of superheroes.

Delilah is still trying to pull the shoulder of her robe up when Sable gets the door open, managing to keep Walter in her arms while she wiggles back into it. The scene is horribly mundane compared to some other scenes in the building- nothing super here. Dee holds Walter up against her shoulder as she follows towards the voice at the door. She is there when Gretchen is all but forced to step inside a bit, but it doesn't seem to matter to the lady of the house. Walter is still making some noise, but at this point it is more like he is complaining than yelling.

"I'm Delilah, hello." Despite the catching her at an awkward time, Delilah is more than happy to put on a big smile and straighten some of her hair to appear less harangued. "You can come in out of the way if you'd like, Gretchen, was it? Mind Samson, he gets antsy when the baby starts up but he's a teddy bear.." The dog is dutifully stomping his feet over in the space between kitchen and living area, looking at the doorway with a faint rumble from his lips.

Gretchen is not really someone Sable feels any instinct to intimidate. The G-Man badge doesn't exactly win her big points, but an earnest young woman with a clipboard is hard to feel hostility towards, unless you're really feeling crabby. Sable steps back and to the side, swinging to door to let Gretchen retreat into the apartment without colliding with her. She eyes the ship-jumpers as the flit out of view. Lots of people seem to figure the Dome was the last straw. Fair 'nuff, Sable figures.

Since Delilah clarifies which of them is which, Sable doesn't have to answer to that embarrassing name. Obvious that's who she is - probably Gretchen can figure that Samson is the dog, not the doorgirl - but still, the less acknowledged the better.

As for unsuperness, well, if only Gretchen knew she was standing in the presence of the greatest musical mind of the millennium (a claim made less grand by the earliness of the the epoch). Though destined for unbelievable fame, also fortune, Sable keeps her mouth shut. Government workers, however well intentioned, mean being kicked out more often than not in her experience. She doesn't want to draw attention, believing always that, on some level, she's here under false pretenses, at least when the Man shows.

"That's a big ass dog," Gretchen observes brightly, and without hostility — a smile alights, and maybe that's because suddenly there's a baby in the room, and she can't remember if that's written anywhere. Make a note of it for later, maybe, which is what she does as she wanders farther inside — but doesn't go to make herself comfortable. "I can see this isn't a great time," she repeats, something she's been saying all morning, because ass'o'clock never is, "but it's important you be made aware as soon as possible."

Taking a piece of paper off the clipboard, it's offered to— some indecisive waggling before gawky twenty-something offers it to Sable. The ReGenesis Foundation letterhead gleams all official, as does the electronic signature signing it as valid. A valid copy, anyway. Dear Residents, we regret to inform you…

"The Octagon is being relocated," Gretchen explains, hands gripping clipboard. "And you have forty-eight hours from notice— which is now— to clear the site to the new one. The ReGenesis Foundation has agreed to shut down the building until the security of Roosevelt Island can be established, after some pressure from the people that live here, as well as the advisement of the Department. We'd like to emphasise that it's a temporary measure."

She pauses, there, mostly because people by now tend to have questions.

Delilah's experience with such people is similar to what Sable was thinking inside- not always really good news, often The Man doing something to mess you up. Regardless, Gretchen's presence is made welcome. She's only the messenger, after all. Delilah's hands stay on Walter as the paper is handed to Sable, and she just leans a little to scan its appearance before listening to the explanation. There's no immediate reaction on the English girl's face, to speak of; she looks thoughtful, instead of disturbed, or angry, or any mixture. There is a faint displeasure only inside of her head, but so far as she knows Gretchen can't see that part.

"Hm." The only sound from Dee is the pat of her hand on Walter's bottom, the crinkle of diaper. She peers down at Sable and the paper. "Well, you know- You've used the word Bourgois about this place…" Look for the light.

And of course, again, the G-Woman is here with her social worker's apology to tell Sable to scram. What's fuckin' new? Story old as time. Or at least as old as Jerry Garcia. Sable feels a foolhardy defiance rise in her, overcoming her if-I-don't-move-maybe-she-can't-see-me timidity in favor of what she hopes is a flinty eyed look, a your-in-my-territory glare that would work better at a higher angle.

She takes a moment to wipe the foam from her mouth before she engages. That's an intimidation tactic too far.

"'s still home," Sable says, contention brimming at the lower lip of her voice, "and I'll take bourgie over shithole shack. Whereall we bein' 'relocated' to?" Just some good old fashioned Southern suspicion of authority. Toothbrush brandished like the stock of a 'steader's shotgun.

Thoughtfulness and hostility is more of the same, with the former being rarer, the latter being less appreciated, but nothing Gretchen does not consider herself to be incapable of handling. She's already flipping through paperwork, and there's definitely an upside to being the messenger, in that there's not a single decision she can negotiate. "The Reclaimed Zone on Staten Island has a suburb within its parametres," she explains, glancing towards Sable with an only slightly googly-eyed wariness, but not submission. "It's called Eltingville. It's a nice area.

"A lot of the Roosevelt Island residents caught up on the events of the Dome've been moved there already until we can rebuild. There's the same security measures, and you can get a resident's pass that allows you free ferrying to and from the island, because we at the Department recognise that commute can be a son of a bitch. I have all the details here."

Patpat, goes her hand on her pages of letters, forms, even a brochure. "And all I need is your signature to show that I've had this conversation with you."

"Eltingville? I've heard of it." Delilah shifts closer to Sable as if she might reach out and grab the invisible leash hanging off of her. No need, for now. "It'll be less than here but anything is more than Thomas Jefferson, hon." Sable also knows the painful reality of either homelessness or near to it; from what Dee has told her about ThomJeff, that wasn't exactly a paradise either. She lifts her hand from patting Walter to touch Sable on her back, palming there just for a second or two.

"Do you have anyone I can get in touch with about truck rentals? I've moved in less time before, but that wasn't with others. And who should I call if I am having time frame trouble?" All very good questions, now that Delilah has had a minute to think of them. She is taking this very well right now, but there will certainly be her own measure of sorrow long after Gretchen has gone. "I can probably get help from other friends, but just in case, you know?"

The touch does seem to center Sable, drawing up her surly level of gravity to a more personable position. When Delilah's had retreats, she thinks no one is looking, she wipes her hand clean on the hem of her shirt. Ever classy. She'd be a gentrifier in ThomJeff.

The brochures are stared at as if she's being offered poison candy, and she lets Delilah take care of that. The clipboard gets a suspicious peer a Faustian parchment would deserve, but the very ease with which Delilah takes it manages to keep her agitation down.

"Sure, sure, and it ain't like I got much t' move, eh?" Sable says, with a somewhat ginger smile, "hell, I- uh- I think this is the first time I ever been part 'f an honest t' God move."

Gretchen blows out an exhale when both parties seem onboard, as it were, unclipping the handful of papers necessary and places it down for perusal. "We have a supplier doing all the heavy lifting — there's a phone number in here. We're covering the basic shipping cost, and extra things— like your puppy— might come with a fee, but there's some paperwork about reimbursement too, so you can see if you can apply to get the whole thing covered." Chirp chirp chirp. She's practiced at this, angling the clipboard for Delilah to sign, and offering it to Sable in turn. "Otherwise, you're free to do it all out of your own pocket too. Some people like it that way.

"If anything goes wrong, I'm your representative — my card's with the forms. We're trying to keep most of the red tape invisible, so any problems with the movers or the checkpoint security, or money stuff, I can handle. Otherwise— there's a five o'clock ferry departing from Queens on the 30th, and hopefully we'll see you there."

"Imma milk this if someone's gonna pay for it." Delilah jaunts her eyebrows at Gretchen, smiling and taking up the pen that is hanging on the clipboard. Walter has stopped making noises now, when it is obvious that nobody is going to minister to his being a nuisance. He can do it when they start paying attention again! No problem. "Hopefully this is painless for everyone. I appreciate your manners too. Last time I had to deal with bureaucracy, it wasn't so reasonable."

Though she is able to sneak in a little aside about Gretchen's employ, it isn't for the girl herself. Dee kind of likes her, as messengers go. She signs the line to say that the girl came and gave them the speech and information, signaling with a finger the line that Sable needs to sign. "I hope you've been practicing your autographs."

That's certainly one way to sugar coat it. Toothbrush is transferred as Sable needs her brushin' hand for scrawlin'. Sable isn't so easily played as to sign with enthusiasm - she still keeps a wary yellow eye on Gretchen as if she might yet discern horns beneath her hair - but when she does sign she does it with grand flourish: a single great swooping S.

"Y'all save that," she says, with a half-crooked smile, "gonna be worth somethin' real some day."

So they're going. Okay. Sable sidles over to Delilah's shoulder, peeking up to take a look at the brochures. Ready to milk it if Delilah is. If they're on the dime of some corporate em effers, she'll take every last bit of the money they're willing to lose. Suck blood from the blood suckers.

Well, it's not Gretchen's money, so she can smile brightly in response. Her employers might roll their eyes if they found out she wasn't pushing them for the cheaper offer, but it's no skin off her nose if she can make people happy instead of mad at her. Get out in two days. No one's really explored what happens if they don't. With any luck, no one will. "A little kindness never hurt anybody. It's not like moving is the most unstressful thing in the world.

"I'll let you guys talk things over, read up on the paperwork. Don't be a stranger." 'Bye' is mouthed to little Walter, before Gretchen sees fit to let herself out, her steps picking up pace as if remembering how many other people she needs to kick out of the place by noon.

"Come on, lets have a sit down…" Delilah sighs loudly, firmly for Sable, as she nudges the door closed behind Gretchen. "We'll make this work." This is going to be Sable's first actual experience with her paramour in a situation outside of her control. She can be as sturdy as possible only for so long, but right now she does need to be. They have a whole day before a night can be spent curled up with Delilah personally in a state of anxiety. That too, will pass. Delilah is a truly resilient girl.

"Not what I wanted to hear this morning, but we'll make it work. I promise. Let's have a look at this stuff and decide where to start."

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