It Isn't Always Serious


dana_icon.gif delilah_icon.gif elisabeth_icon.gif nowak_icon.gif richard3_icon.gif

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Scene Title It Isn't Always Serious
Synopsis Visitors and new faces arrive at Raytech with splashing success.
Date June 29, 2019

Raytech NYCSZ Branch Office

Despite, well, everything going on the last few weeks, and the craziness that is her household, Delilah is somehow still trucking along as she always has. It doesn't stop her from worrying about others, or getting caught in faraway thoughts- - such as 'where is Martin'- - but it does give her a reason to distract herself from the more harrowing things. Like what happened at the radio station. Walter, the junior, was understandably very upset not only at people shooting at his mother but also that Jolene was there and Mister Pines is missing. So that's been… a thing.

With school out, it's been hard to have him focusing on something else. It's easy for the little boy to get caught up in whatever the adults are doing, even though he spends plenty of time with his friends. Actually, Walter's whole spring so far has been one weird thing after another. His favorite was the Teos, though, if only because one- - mawwaige, and two- - that 'uncle' Teo who he never sees. Even if he was a little bit weirder. Or sad. Walter couldn't decide.

Delilah has had to field much of these events and feelings for him; there is still a lot he doesn't understand. So in the interests of transparency, she walks into Raytech's lobby with his hand in hers, the boy craning his head around to look at All The Things. There's nothing here to worry about, she's just here to talk to nerds.

"Okay, you remember how to get to the apartment, right?" Crouching down more to her son's level, Delilah adjusts the straps of his leather backpack and looks in his face to get a nod-nod-nod. She trusts his Big Boy senses to go up to visit Ricky and Lili. (She won't tell him that she asked a favor from security to make sure he gets there.)

It's just a bonus when Walter gets his own little visitor badge(can he keep it? No, no) like the one Dee gets as she waits in the lobby, hands fussily retucking her t-shirt into her jeans, untucking, retucking only partway. It's not her fashion she's worried about. The last time she looked into anything about her ability- -

Well, suffice to say she can't really remember.

On her way out of the elevator, Elisabeth pauses to hold the door for Walter. "Hi kiddo!" The greeting comes with a grin. "Have a good time."

As she heads into the lobby, she's clearly on her way out to work, perhaps just having dropped back home to see Aura during a break. She's wearing a pair of low-heeled lace-up shoes and dark slacks with a peach top tucked into them and a blazer that discreetly covers the holster and badge at her waist. Her blonde hair is caught up in a twist to keep it out of her way. She looks… a lot like the woman Delilah used to know years ago. "Lord love Harmony — she's a brave soul to host all of them this afternoon," she laughs as she stops in front of Dee.

"What brings you in today?" The question is casual, just a friend happening across another.

Looking like the working woman she is, Liz at first does unnoticed as Delilah waits with her visitor badge twirling between fingers. It's only when she closes in that Dee blinks into a state of recognition.

"Oh, wow, Liz, I heard something about you getting back to work - - looking sharp too." Delilah isn't shy about physically demanding a short hug. C'mere, bring it in. "I told him if he doesn't behave he'll get irradiated. I don't think he was convinced." She narrows her eyes up at the ceiling, a vague gesture to indicate her son and his skepticism making way upstairs.

"Weeeelllll." The redhead mulls over how to start. "You know about the station attack; when they were collecting evidence some of the techs may or may not have come into membrane contact with the dried version of my- -" Secretions sounds weird. "Slime?" Sheepish to the max.

"SESA 'suggested' I have it tested. So that I can have an anti-serum prepared. If. Someone. You know. Accidentally trips the fuck out too badly." Delilah looks away at the middle distance, smile a half-grimace, ears pink and hand on her neck. "I called ahead, we're going to do some sampling and notes since this is really the only place I trust enough to not weaponize me."

"Ahhhh…." The word drags out and she gets a somewhat amused expression. She hugs tightly, not in the least concerned about Delilah's 'slime' and only says as she draws back, "You do realize the man actually weaponized me and then armed not only the Feds but the new NYPD with something called a Banshee, yeah?" Elisabeth is definitely laughing at Dee.

"Nonlethally. Weaponized." Delilah's hands wring, and she laughs just a little bit in return; okay, touche. "Mine is too unpredictable for something like that. Yours, you can fine tune it- - pun intended, I guess."

The blonde bursts out laughing. "Pun intended, huh? You're awful," Elisabeth informs her. "Actually, though…. it occurs to me now that we're standing here, uhm… are you still doing sewing stuff?" She can't remember if Dee had decided whether or not to stick with it.

She absolutely is awful, and gives a tiny wink to prove it. Delilah's head tilts at the questioning, eyeballing Elisabeth a wee bit from the side. "Course I am. Bread and butter, at the moment. Never know if I'll find something new. So for now I'm doing a great business. Clothes can get expensive, so repairs are a big one. Do you need something done?"

Elisabeth glances toward the elevator. Should she? The answer is yes. Looking back at her friend, she smiles a bit sheepishly. "A dress… for a wedding? I really hate shopping."

"Oh! You too?!" Delilah can't help but laugh loud enough that someone else waiting in the lobby angles a touch of attention to her. Less than secretive about something like this, the redhead gathers Liz in another warm hug. "Yes, I do gowns. And for you, anything. You definitely fuckin'earned it."

“Well, look at this, two of my favorite women in the world in one place,” Richard declares as he strolls into the lobby, hands spread out and a smile curving to his lips, “Now this isn’t something that happens often. Hey, Dee.”

He strolls along towards them, dressed in a smart black suit with a red tie that’s perhaps a little loose, pausing to lean up and peck a kiss at the corner of Liz’s lips.

"Me too?" Elisabeth has time to ask as she's hugged. And then Richard is there and she smiles at that soft kiss. It is silly how much just being home and being able to see the people she loves makes her grin sometimes. "Hi!" Her chuckle is easy as she slips an arm around his waist briefly to lean into him. "Dee just told me she's getting married." Because Liz wasn't in the know!!

Richard sure knows just what to say sometimes, because his greeting gets another light of Delilah's face.

"I haven't told many people about it yet." She reaches in to straighten Richard's tie, wordless on that particular fix. No comment. "But I'm not gonna go running through the streets anytime soon." Tie adjusted, Dee gives Liz a crooked little smile and angles out her hand. A ring, rosy gold with a small emerald, simple and unobtrusive.

“Oh?” Richard’s arm slips back around Elisabeth in return, eyebrows lifting over darkened shades as he looks back to Delilah - the straightening of his tie widening his smile to a briefly roguish grin. Then he asks, “Well, congratulations— just tell me it’s not to Magnes?”

Probably not. That’s not a Green Lantern ring she’s wearing.

She doesn't mention that Magnes proposed to Elaine with a Lord of the Rings replica… he might hurt himself laughing. It was cute!! But Elisabeth does cast a briefly surprised look at Delilah. It's not Magnes, right??

Reaching out to clasp her friend's hand, she smiles at the beautiful simplicity of the ring. "Richard can show off his, but it's not as fancy as all that," she teases. Though it might, arguably, mean even more. Rolling her blue eyes, Liz sighs dramatically, "We always hafta do things backward, so I don't have one."

"Why does everyone think that first? I wouldn't let him, I know him too well to let him embarrass himself." It's actually a gentle way to say 'lol no'. Just friends. Dee lets Liz take her hand, which gets a brief squeeze and a grin. Cute, huh? It fits her. "Hey, your pace is your pace. Nobody but you can tell you how to do it."

"Teo." Delilah answers, and quickly adds. "The original recipe. Not the scruffy one. And definitely not Ghost, even if he skulks around. He thinks he's being sly about it. I let him."

“Well, you asked me,” Richard points out with a twitch of his lips at Elisabeth’s melodramatic sign about the ring, “So why would you have the ring?” The pad of his thumb absently rubs against the band, his gaze briefly dropping to the simple ring before looking back up to Delilah.

“Teo? That makes sense,” he admits, “Walter and all— and tell Ghost gofuckyourself for me. I heard Teo’s been staying with— wait, no, it’s Francois’s Teo that’s staying with Emily.” A pause, “We need to give one of them a new nickname. We can’t just call them after who they’re dating, that seems rude.”

"I'd say because I'm the girl, but in this day and age?" Elisabeth rolls her eyes and laughs.

At first the name 'Teo' surprises her — there are three, but she's never really experienced them in the same place at the same time so she has to parse that. "That is definitely rude," she observes, "but then again… they both want to keep using their name! Is…." Elisabeth pauses and then tips her head, looking a little sheepish. "Is it bad that I sometimes can't really tell between Teo the one I taught school with and sniped at HF guys with and Teo the one that married Francois? They're both just Teo and I love 'em to pieces."

"You can tell him yourself, I just let him spy undisturbed." Delilah holds up her hands in a washing of it gesture. She isn't one to go looking for the eldest Teo. "Eve usually knows where he is." There. Go, have fun.

"It's even worse, Liz, cause they all talk to each other. They have names for one another but," She rubs her hand along her chin, brows knitting. "Technically, the one you taught and shot with is all of them. They'd probably all remember." It's taken Dee a Long. Time. to figure all of this out. With help. "Mine's the lawyer. 'Sicily', sometimes." Her quotation is paired with the gesture of the same. "I call the other one Mountain Man. Or Scruffy." She just laughs after this, running a hand over her hair in a moment of self-awareness. It's such a strange conversation to be having?? In the first place??

"Mine's also the smallest. So, Tiny Teo. 'Dad' Teo. Scruffy is sort of 'Uncle' Teo. Walter has it all figured out in his head, I don't try to tell him how to rationalize things anyhow, yeah?"

“Maybe we can make them dye their hair,” Richard suggests thoughtfully, “Then we’d have, like, Yellow Teo and Green Teo. It’d make life easier. At least I called my evil twin by our middle name to differentiate…”

He grins, shaking his head. It is a strange conversation. “Anyway! You were here for a reason, I do believe…”

Elisabeth most assuredly understands what Delilah is saying. "Yeah, I don't tell Aura how either… she manages to keep straight two Aunt Kaylees and two Uncle Felixes, a host of others — they're the same people but they're not, and that's just normal in her world." She shrugs a little and looks up at Richard, her expression abashed. "Guess for all she's seen, I didn't do too bad…" The little girl, all things considered, is far more well-adjusted than she really has any right to be.

Back to Delilah, though, she grins. "Congratulations to both of you. Tell him to stop in and see me? I'd really like to hug his silly ass, too. Scruffy Teo's been by and I see both him and Francois, but all the Teos need their own hugs." Even Ghost. Maybe especially Ghost… the yodeling Wop in her auditory cortex at the worst time of her life. Why she remembers those moments when others are missing, she's not sure… but the comfort his presence brought was immeasurable. She doesn't mention that, though.

"I should let you two talk about what's got Dee here." She has a purpose that has been missing since she got home, and Elisabeth seems to slowly be coming back to herself. "Gotta get back to work." She grins and leans up to kiss Richard softly before she slips away from him with a waggle of fingers in farewell to both of them. "Later, love."

"You mean we can't stall for time anymore?" Delilah laughs. She wanted to come, but that doesn't mean she's not a little nervous! This is the first time that she's done anything like this!

"I will, Liz. Good running into you, I'll see you later." A hand lifts to wave a return farewell, then Delilah puts a 'phone' to her ear and mouths 'call me' before the blonde turns to go. They can talk shop about dresses, it'll be great.

"And how have you been? I see you're not… hurting anymore. Good." It's not stalling this time, but a gentle conversation starter to Richard for when they get moving. Delilah isn't going to stay on the topic of the Mazdak incident for terribly long, however. It's still too sore.

Richard tips his head down to return that kiss, hand slipping over Liz’s side and hip before he lets her go. “See you in a bit,” he offers, “Give Donovan some shit for me.”

Then he turns his full attention back to Delilah, wincing slightly at the reminder. “I am. I saw a healer,” he admits, “I’m glad that Lisa was able to get you and Jolene to safety, I just wish we could’ve gotten to Martin…”

He sweeps a hand indicatively to a hall, moving to lead the way, “How are you doing?”

"Do you know her? She just came out of nowhere… we barely got a name." Delilah angles a more scrutinizing look up at him. "I thought Jolene was going to need new pants" A blunted way to describe fear.

"I don't know where Martin went, but wherever he is I hope he's okay. People really adore him here. Walter was pretty upset when I told him." Dee sighs faintly. "I'm… alright? I hadn't had to deal with all of this bullshit for years, and suddenly my dad's alive, all downhill from there." It's a lot for a not-Ray, okay?

"I thought something like this might be a distraction."

“I’m… just getting to know her,” Richard says, a bit of a frown briefly pursing his lips, “She’s one of the Travellers.” A euphemism, but Delilah knows enough that she can probably understand what he means by it.

“I know he’s alive,” he admits, “I don’t know anything more, and I’m worried too. He seems to be a genuinely good guy, and— “ A faint chuckle, “Good call. A new project is always a good distraction.”

Until everything in your life is a project but they’re not here to deal with his neuroses today.

She certainly does know enough, and after a squinted glance she quietly tucks it away in the back of her head.

"Doesn't tell me how she knew my phone number… or who I was." Delilah decides on suspicion rather than just skepticism, but at least there's no trash talking- - Lisa did help them, after all, even if she was… really coincidental. A nod for Richard's agreement on Martin comes just before a laugh at 'project'. "Is it really a project yet, though?" Is it? "At first I guess it's just gonna be me… filling… containers." That sounds really weird, Richard, and the redhead winces a bit when she processes her own way of putting it.

"What other kinds of bio-stuff do you do here, anyway? I know you've got the agro-thing going."

“We don’t have a lot of major biological projects going on right now,” Richard admits with a slight shake of his head as he walks with her, motioning with one hand through the air, “Odessa was working on some things, but… well.” There was that pesky trial and now the government has her in their facility doing research for them, which frankly seems unfair. “I’m hoping that one of our new hires might be interested in picking up recreating the SOD process— it was one of the less, ah, unpleasant things the old Institute had developed, it was a way to repair a burned-out ability.”

A smile twitches to his lips, “And yeah, I suppose basically it is just filling containers for now, so we can analyse them.”

Delilah didn't know Odessa well, but she was sharp enough to know her importance. Especially in a place like Raytech where she could do some good.

"Sorry you lost her." It's the least she can say. "How often does that even happen? Burnout?" Dee has only encountered it once, but it wasn't burnout that nulled her ability for a time. "There was some scary shit they were working on, glad you can take something from it."

"When I was younger and dumber, I would sell this stuff." A small wince comes with her laugh, gaze going to a hand held out in front of her. "No idea if anyone ever got hurt that way… Which I can't fix now, but…" Now she can do better. "How many new faces you get? And you seem to think someone will know what the hell to do with me." Their trek takes them to the elevator, and she'll let Richard man the console.

“Not as often now that the war’s over, but it’s always a danger,” admits Richard with a shake of his head, reaching out to touch the elevator’s console lightly, “There’re a lot of war veterans still without their abilities for similar reasons, though. And— well, not that it comes up often, but the procedure had proven useful on those with the abilities stolen too.”

“May Arthur burn in hell,” he mutters under his breath as the elevator doors slide open and he steps inside. There’s barely any space between the elevator and the floor, reducing the chance of tripping - and making it easy for wheelchairs and the like to get in. And robots, one presumes.

“It can’t hurt to check,” he notes then, flashing her a wry smile, “Hell, they’re having some results treating PTSD and depression with micro-doses of LSD these days, even, so… there might be something we can work with.”

He already knows Delilah's opinion(s) on Petrellis. She just flattens her mouth and nods once, watching the elevator lights.

"Mine's not quite as fun as LSD, I think. From what people have told me." Delilah laughs, more of a second wince. "It doesn't do anything to me, anyhow. I don't know half of what it can do, just that it can be dangerous. I'm lucky that I learned how to control it. That's me, toad girl." Her own nickname, of course. She used to be a lot more into it, now it sounds childish. Delilah's brows raise as she thinks of something. "Oh, and if you have a blacklight… page someone to bring that, it'll be cool. Don't ask, it's a surprise."

“I didn’t say fun,” Richard chuckles, glancing over with an amused expression, “I think the government would get upset with us if we started selling recreational drugs based on Evolved abilities. Then the Triads would show up angry that we were cutting in on their business, it’d be a whole bad scene!”

He’s teasing, even if it’s all completely true.

“We’ve definitely got some blacklights downstairs,” he admits, “Sterilization and all, and ‘hey who’s been having sex on the table in the break room’ fun.” A pause, “Not really, I mean, we’ve got video cameras everywhere. I mean I don’t think so. I should ask security how many times they’ve caught people doing that.”

"I mean, there was MK Ultra, wasn't there?" Delilah raises her brows in regard to the government and drugs. She has opinions, but luckily they stay inside. The elevator doesn't go for long, of course; it opens up onto the lab and tech level, and the first thing Dee does on stepping out is crane her head around to take a look, turning around as she steps out, a smile for Richard by the time she snoops into the window of a glossy robotics lab. Ooo.

"I would hope few, but, well, things happen." She laughs over her shoulder, eyes on a be-goggled technician working with an articulated arm. "Hell, Walter started in his grandma's kitchen, so, uh." Her hands open up in a shrug. Someone could have used the break room.

"Wanna give me an oral tour while we're down here? This is great." Kids aren't the only ones that like robots. The redhead gives a small mock salute when the technician she was watching notices them in the corridor. He might be a little shy, if the skittering off says something,

"Walter said something about robot dinosaurs, but I think that had to be something the kids fed him."

The east-side doors to the lab open to allow a pair of technicians out. Both of whom part away from one-another to allow someone to enter the lab from the corridor. Agent Dana Carrington of SESA may not be someone that Delilah knows and someone Elisabeth only peripherally remembers from the chaos of the Sunspot Observatory, but she's someone Richard’s been expecting for a few days. Dana turns around to wave a wordless thanks at the two technicians as she enters, walking backwards with half a bagel in her mouth and a tall metal thermos in her other hand. Her lab coat flutters as she re-rights herself, then swishes forward as she comes to a stop and looks around the lab floor.

A blue-bordered GOVERNMENT CONTRACTOR Raytech badge dangles from where she clasped it upside-down to her lab coat’s lapel. When she spots Richard, Dana rises up onto the toes of her sneakers and waves with her free hand, then tears a bite off of her bagel and hastily approaches with the clap of sneakers on tile. She’s nearly finished the entire thing by the time she's cross the two hundred foot distance between them.

“Mr. Ray!” Dana raises her brows behind the square fringe of her bangs at that last name. “Perfect timing, I just finished up with your security people. Do you… have an office I can take? Or do I need to work out on the floor? Oh! And there’ll be a truck coming in,” she looks down to an analog watch on her wrist, “four hours?” She looks up to Richard over the dark frames of her glasses. “Components for the— ” she eyes Delilah for an instant, “ — project.”

“Oh, no, we do in fact have a robot dinosaur. It’s supposed to be an automated receptionist, but it’s full of bugs,” Richard admits with a laugh, “Also Warren tried to put weapons in it, but we removed all those. It keeps getting moved around to various rooms as a joke now, mostly— the kids love it, now that it’s safe to be around.”

A wry glance over, “He gave it Elle’s voice, to boot.”

“Tee-Emm-Eye about where Walter’s conception was, I’m never going to get that mental image out of my head now. I mean it wouldn’t be a bad image except there’s Teo in it— anyway— “ Perhaps about to offer that tour, suddenly there’s a government agent in the hallway. A bit of an amused expression crosses his face as she waves, eats a bagel, and makes her way down the hallway as he waits for her to arrive.

“Agent Carrington, I presume,” he offers with a twitch of a smile, “You’ll have an office assigned, I’m sure, I don’t know exactly which one but I know they’re not all full. I’ll make sure to have someone waiting at the arrivals dock to see what you have for us. Delilah, this is Agent Dana Carrington of SESA— Agent, this is Delilah Trafford, she’s asked us for a consultation regarding her ability.”

The description of the Raytech dinosaur has Dee raising her brows, though not at all fearful of there actually being one. If Richard says it is safe, she's going to believe him. Mention of giving it his wife's voice earns a snort and a small laugh. Her laugh lingers at a lower register soon after.

"Oh please, I'm sure you've had worse images in your head." He gets scoffing for his attempt at brain-scrubbing the sharing. Delilah doesn't go anywhere further on the matter, thankfully, as she's not usually awful on purpose. A headtilt to peek past Richard gets her a view of the agent trotting down the hall to them. For his sake she's quiet when he answers the woman, arms folding loosely and dark eyes attentively on Dana. Use of 'project' in such a secretive way has Dee stifling a smile.

"Sounds like things are exciting as always." The redhead glances to Richard, then holds a polite hand out to Dana, smile unwrapping. "And now SESA wants in on your fun, huh? Nice to meet you. I'm sure you'll be having an interesting time here."

Agent Carrington is quick to take Delilah’s hand in a firm shake, “Just Dana, please. SESA technologist, I'm here to facilitate a government contract with Raytech. Mr. Ray and I have had some science adventures before.” But that's classified.

“You're the Delilah Trafford of the Eltingville Blocks riots aren't you?” Dana asks with a raised brow, moving her hand from handshake to straighten her bangs in a fluid motion. “My mother and I were trapped overseas in the UK when all that went down. Your survivor story’s outstanding.” Dana glances up from Delilah to Richard. “Have you written a memoir yet? What with all your famous friends…” she motions to Delilah with a smile.

“We do a lot of contracting for the government,” Richard says to Delilah with a slightly amused expression at the mention of science adventures, hands tucking into the pockets of his blazer and shoulders lifting in a shrug, “Especially since we’re one of the few tech companies still active that isn’t associated with a foreign government. Really, I’m surprised that they haven’t just offered to give me a governmental budget and just get it over with.”

There’s a glint in his eyes as he says that, as he knows damn well why they haven’t done that.

Then there’s the question about the memoir, and he laughs, hands emerging to spread to either side, “Dana. Please. You know what I’ve been involved in… whatever publisher I sent it to would be raided by the Secret Service long before a single print got into paper.”

Science adventures. Delilah can only serve a secretive, somewhat comedic look between the two. Dana doesn't need to know what she knows, of course. That's for nobody in SESA to know, really. Dee's pretty good at zipping up these days.

"The Blocks? Well… yeah, that's me." That's something she hasn't heard in a fair time. Brown eyes widen a bit out of surprise, settling into a more considering look, just a touch baffled. "God, my 'survivor story'? Is that what I have now?" A questing glance to Richard, but her smile seems to make it all more easygoing. Time makes it easier for levity.

"Famous? Enh, I wish it were as fun as that makes it sound. I'd rather be famous for being cute or something." Delilah's hand see-saws and she crinkles her expression in a laugh. Being a Name is hard. She keeps it low-key, if her response says anything. "Mm, I'd have to agree with him on that one. A Richard Ray memoir would be eight-hundred pages of black marker."

“Release it under a pseudonym— and not one that’s a blatant the Shadow reference— but a real pseudonym. Maybe release it as fiction, and then decades from now you can reveal it’s autobiographical!” Dana says with a flash of a smile. “Maybe present it as River Styx fanfiction, hmm? I’m certain the government has better things to do than police worrisome fanfiction,” she notes with a tap to one corner of her glasses’ frames.

But Dana is quick to pivot the topic of discussion back to Delilah. “Speaking of people who should write a book, I feel like every year that goes by that one of the Ferrymen doesn’t write a book about their experiences is another year people will slowly forget what happened. Some of us weren’t around for it,” Dana says with a motion to her chest, “but I’ve been to the memorials, I’ve read the unauthorized books, some of the stuff by Savannah Burton…” she vaguely motions with one hand in the air, “but an autobiographical piece from one of the people who was there? I mean— I don’t want to make it exploitative but— the world could learn from your experiences.”

“Does everyone know about that alias? I need a new one,” Richard chuckles, his head shaking a little, “It was useful while it lasted. As far as fanfiction… honestly, enough people would catch the references that it’d be dangerous. There’s a lot that happened that should stay buried, even if it won’t forever. And the government keeps a real close eye on me.”

A glance to Delilah, one brow arching upward as he looks back to Dana, “Mnm. You know, some people don’t read. Maybe what people need is a documentary. Interviews, videos of old locations where things happened, the whole shebang. I’m sure it’d be a hit. We haven’t really had any movies coming out American-made lately, either, not since Hollywood became more radioactive than downtown Manhattan.”

Fanfiction just makes Delilah grunt and draw a hand over her hair. Yeah, no, there's enough of that. Especially for River Styx.

"That fucking show…" It's good pulp, soap, et cetera, but that's about it. Richard happens to alight on a better television angle. "That's a great idea. Hollywood quality or not. The Brick House is arguably the best place to start something like that. It's where I took my dad when I was trying to… well… explain everything." The man beside her knows what Dee means by that. It was a learning curve.

"Find a producer or two and bankroll that." Redhead elbows Richard gamely against his own. "Cause she's right. The longer it is the less affecting it'll be. We see the results of all of it everyday, still. Could always license it to high schools too. We can be curriculum."

“See? That's exactly the kind of thing we need. I mean, we also need infrastructure to film and broadcast any of that, but— ”

Whatever Dana was going to say next is drowned out by five hundred gallons of salt water exploding through a pair of double doors, along with eight fish, seven pounds of seaweed, a scattering of loose gravel, a lobster trap, and a seagull mid-flight. The explosion of water is strong enough to sweep Delilah, Richard, and Dana off of their feet but the lab spacious enough to disperse the water to a few inches of depth very quickly. Dana’s windmilling limb's catch a chair that she drags down to the ground as she falls, slipping wildly on the wet floor.

I am sorry!” Comes echoing in a pronounced east-European accent out of the nearby lab. The lab where water just erupted through the doors. “Am so sorry, this ah, won't happen again! Is safe, my bad!” Soaked from head to toe with seaweed draped over his shoulders, Thomas Nowak looks about as shocked as everyone else given the givens. Red and orange security lights are flashing in his lap, sparks emitting from short-circuited computers. “Slight miscalculation on spatial folding! My bad!

Whether or not Richard thinks it’s really a good idea to fund a documentary will have to remain a mystery for now, because before he can answer he’s swept off his feet by a sudden flood from one of the labs, landing on his ass in a splash of water and just barely catching himself from falling further with a hand behind him.

“Jesus Christ, Nowak,” he sputters, sweeping a flopping fish off his lap from where it’d suddenly landed, “Do you need an outdoor testing area or something, because— fuck— alert janitorial, please, this is going to take some cleaning up— “

Soaked, he starts to hesitantly try and get to his feet, using a hand on the wall, “Do you need someone to help you with that?”

It is difficult enough to conflate what she sees, much less prepare herself after that boom of the doors and the pour of briney water into the room. For the first wave- - pun intended- - all Delilah does is squawk incoherently and latch onto something else. A table works, even if it proves slick and slippery to cling to. Her knees hit the floor as the water thins across space and down corner drains.

"What the fucking hell," Delilah stands up from behind the table, one hand smacking a chunk of seaweed onto the black top, hair plastered to her face. Despite his apparent remorse, having a guilty party to focus on gives Delilah a way to blame something for whatever that was. "Richard, what kind of bullshit- -" And yet, something in her can't help but see the ridiculousness, and her anger gets chipped at with a twitchy laugh. "Who- - is this joker? God…."

The croaky chirrup of the gull almost drowns her out, the bird pattering around in the wet, panting and confused, wings aloft in a show of just that. It is also doing an ( ( what d a f u c c ) ).

When the fear has passed, Dana remains laying on her back on the concrete floor, fish flipping and gulping around her. She drapes one arm over her forehead and, as if at Delilah’s indication, begins cackling with laughter. Nowak, eyes wide and still frozen in a rictus of oops, bubbles up with nervous laughter as well.

“Am so sorry Mr. Ray,” Nowak says as he tries to help Richard up, wiping water off of his suit, using his pocket square to try and dry him off. “I was working on, ah, the spatial folding? Doing apple tests, how many can we move and how fast,” he looks over at the seagull warily, “and it was an accident. The water. Opened this way,” he says with a motion of both hands to the left, “instead of opening that way,” comes with a motion in the opposite direction.

“Are you — Thomas Nowak? The space engineer?” Dana says from the floor, her arm lifted from over her eyes. Nowak swivels a wide-eyes look down to her, then to Richard, then back to Dana with a guilty grimace. Blinking repeatedly, Dana slowly pulls herself up to her knees and then offers a hand out to Delilah so they can help each other up. “It's ok he's going to be sending people into space,” Dana says in a sarcastic stage whisper to Delilah.

Nowak merely smiles, waving awkwardly to Delilah and Dana as fish flop around all over the floor.

A heavy sigh escapes Richard’s lips as he lifts his tie, dripping down limply, and then releases it to *splat* back against his chest even as Thomas tries to dry him off with a pocket square. “Delilah, Agent Carrington, this is Thomas Nowak of Latimer, Inc. One of our projects has shown itself to be useful on their particular program, so we’re doing some collaboration— do keep that quiet, if you could, the last thing I need is some corporate saboteurs trying to sneak in.” He waves off the man, stepping back slightly, “I’m fine, Nowak, I’m fine. Really. Although I’m going to need to do laundry earlier than I thought.”

Hands spread, “I suppose you can’t make an omelette without teleporting a few seagulls.”

Space engineer? Delilah steels herself to keep from blanching. Richard no what in the world. Yet, when she is faced with standing up straight and Nowak looking like a nervous puppy, there's just a sigh, and a returned little wave before she fixes her hair away from her face.

"You don't need to tell me to keep space experiments secret." Okay, maybe a twee bit of whiteness gets to her face. It's fine, it's fine. "Saboteurs won't get it from me." A lift of her shoulders comes in a shrug, hands up helplessly. Safe here. Delilah considers Thomas for a long moment more, and gives Richard an odd look for his analogy; another moment passes before there's a ringing from the redhead's bag. It's wet, but not soaked. Bless plastic lining. The screen as it is pulled out gets a perplexed expression while she debates answering.

Nowak relaxes when Delilah seems eager to keep the matter quiet. “Yes, that— that is good. Privacy and secrecy, very important.” He makes an ok symbol with his fingers and winks at Delilah in the most conspicuous manner possible. That makes Dana’s brows rise as she slowly swivels her attention from Nowak to Richard, then over to Delilah with a grimace.

Okay then,” Dana says with a grin, “well, I’m going to go talk to your facilities people and get myself set up with an office. Mr. Nowak it was great never officially meeting you,” she says with a slightly sarcastic salute, which Nowak awkwardly returns in full seriousness. Dana blurts out breathy laughter and shakes her head, looking from Delilah to Richard to Nowak and back down the line again.

“I think I’m going to like this assignment.”

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