It's Survival


alice_icon.gif stone_icon.gif ygraine2_icon.gif

Scene Title It's Survival
Synopsis Ygraine goes seeking the Deveaux Group in search of answers.
Date March 14, 2011

36 Gramercy Park East

Life, in Ygraine's opinion, has not exactly been dealing with a full deck of late. At least, not where she's concerned. Shot, betrayed, broken-hearted, half-starved, and mentally fractured all in the past few weeks, her current inability to work has left her grabbing for ways of meaningfully filling her life with things that might stop her from thinking and remembering too much.

Liberty, of course, has been top of her list. And most prominent on the agenda relating to it? Finding out what the heck the Deveaux Group are up to. As a result, the 'cripple-wagon' - her rented little Japanese curvy-box-on-wheels, modified for use by someone with only one hand available - is parked a short distance along Gramercy Park East, and she's now striding towards one of the addresses on the card given to Graeme some weeks before. The other, being her home address, she considers thoroughly investigated. This one, however….

As has recently become customary, for this public outing she has put some effort into her appearance. Her cascade of hair is dyed a deep black, though the lowest portion of the flow is a shimmering, warm blue. A silver-headed cane is in her right hand, the iron-shod far end clicking steadily in time with her steps. The rest of her attire might be considered suitable for a highwayman or gentleman pirate - over-the-knee cavalry boots, tight breeches and a frock coat all in black; with an elaborate waistcoat (dark green, with brass buttons arranged to show off her curves) and a fancy, lace-up shirt into which is tucked a green silk cravat. She even sports a tricorn, and the sling into which one arm is strapped - the relevant sleeve pinned up and empty - is fashioned from leather.

Apparently, she wants to make an impression.

Grammercy Park has its own dramatic flair, with its pre-war architecture, brushed steel suits of armor flanking the entrance and red carpet leading up to the front doors. Though only partly as theatrical as Ygraine's costumed attire, it's the interior that preaches more to the theatrical. Beyond the double doors, high chandeliers, bas-reliefs near the ceiling and a mixture of Victorian and Grecian decour gives the building that the Deveaux Group does its business out of a regal air, if somewhat pretentious.

One lone man stands in reception behind an angular front desk, turning away from a computer screen to consider the eccentrically dressed woman coming in off the street. A single brow is judgmentally raised on seeing Ygraine's attire, a smile restrained. "Is…" he draws out the breath between words, thoughtfully. "Someone expecting you, ma'am?"

As she flashes the man a grin - her lips a dark burgundy, her still somewhat tense eyes lightly lined in black - Ygraine brushes her hand against the side pocket of her frock coat, the lump within assuring her that Spy Shop's finest portable white noise generator is indeed there. The liberating joys of embracing one's paranoia….

"Probably, if they have any sense", she assures the receptionist, educated and foreign voice dry. "My name's Ygraine FitzRoy. I'd like to see someone with the ability to discuss… the Group's activities in some detail, and to explain decisions made, if possible."

"The… Group?" One brow arches on the receptionist's brow, and he leans forward behind the desk, scrutinizing Ygraine a bit more closely. "If you mean the Deveaux Group, then…" he glances briefly at the screen, then back to Ygraine. "I don't believe you have an appointment. If there's someone in the building that you know I can call up for them, otherwise I'm going to have to suggest that you wait for your party in the lounge, or come back another time…"

With a gesture of one hand, the man at the front desk motions thorugh a pair of open double-doors to his right, leading into a spaciously designed lounge appointed in unusual juxtaposition of urban and upper-class eccentricies, an artistic and avante-garde New York approach to the function of the room. "Or I could leave a message for someone, if you would prefer?"

Ygraine arches a brow. "I believe that Alice Shaw is the most senior person to have most… directly dealt with matters relating to me", she informs the clerk. "Should she be available, I would very much welcome the chance to speak with her. I am hoping that I am correct in taking certain… recent actions as overtures of friendship and amity. But an opportunity to have that confirmed would be warmly appreciated."

"I don't profess to know what the Deveaux Group does, Miss FitzRoy." Turning to the monitor, the receptionist checks over a listing, making a soft sound in the back of his throat before glancing back over at the eccentricly dressed Briton over his shoulder. "Miz Shaw is not currently in the office, her ID badge checked out earlier today. I can put a call up to the Deveaux Group if you'd like, but they are typically slow to respond."

While the man is talking, movement in the lounge catches the paranoid Briton's attention. A stoic looking woman, brlonde hair pinned up atop her head, thin brows raised and arms folded across her chest as she walks. Her style of dress is casual, from the brown collared jacket to the jeans and workboots she wears. Blue eyes scan up and down Ygraine as she walks thorugh the doors from the lounge into the lobby.

"Alternatively I'd…" Cutting himself off, the man behind the desk considers the blonde woman, then looks to Ygraine. About to speak, he's cut off when the woman clears her throat and nods in towards the lounge, taking one step to the side.

"Seems not much waits for chance," the blonde admits leaving one brow arched as the other lowers. "I believe I can help with what you're looking for."

Actually starting to feel somewhat sorry for the clerk, Ygraine offers him a rather apologetic smile - then an extravagant bow. "Thank you for your help", she says to him, before turning and moving towards the blonde… expression quizzical and pensive, her gaze running over the older woman.

"It would be nice to think that someone could", the Briton informs her. "Ygraine FitzRoy, as I suspect you have already guessed."

"I'm not much of a guesser actually," the blonde admits with a sly tone, "I overheard your conversation with Phillipe." Workboots scuff the floor as she walks, fingering a battered old ring on her index finger, a bit too large for her to be wearing. "I don't recall making any appointments to get in touch with you, but I figure that's probably what brought you here anyway, isn't it?"

Those blue eyes regard Ygraine again, curiously, as the older woman leads her over to a round table surrounded by four chairs. Two are pulled out, one is set in front of an empty plate that looks to have the yellow smudges of egg yolk a remainder from breakfast. The half finished bloody mary is a colorful addition.

Not far from the table, a dark-haired man of an indeterminate middle-eastern descent stands with his hands folded behind his back, offering a polite — if not somewhat dismissive — smile to Ygraine. "I take it you're here because our boy told you about our meeting?" Motioning to the table, the blonde doesn't make any attempt to introduce her companion, if that is what he is.

"Alice Shaw," she offers, along with her ring-laden hand out to Ygraine. "As I sspect you have already guessed," comes with a wry smirk.

Tucking her cane under the one armpit available for the purpose, Ygraine then accepts the offered hand - her grip rather firmer than the pale skin and slightly pinched features (let alone the immobilised arm and pinned-up sleeve) might suggest. "It's good to meet you", she warmly informs Alice - albeit in hope as well as sincerity.

"And this, I would guess, might be Zachary Stone…? Yes, Graeme told me about his visit here. It was all a bit awkward, at first, since I was trapped inside the Dome at the time that he was directed to my home address." A heart-beat's pause as she decides that she won't belabour that point, at least at present. "But I had the capacity to recharge my phone, so we could talk a few times… and when I got out, he was kind enough to come to see me."

A look is offered to Zachary, who huffs out a breathy sigh and takes a few steps away from the table before circling back, brows raised in a guilty as charged expression. Alice settles in back where she'd been eating, pushing her plate aside and picking up the tall and slim glass of orangey drink in one hand, the green sprig of celery rising up out of the glass a splash of contrasting color.

"Fortunate that you made it out unscathed, that was quite the tragic incident. Unfortunately for all your efforts, I'm…. not the best person for you to be talking to. Graeme, certainly, but you and he aren't the same." Alice makes little eye contact as she talks, preferring instead to inspect details of purreed vegetables floating in her glass, or the water ring on the table with a sweep of her eyes.

"But, perhaps you'll surprise me." Blue eyes finally alight ot the Briton. "Why are you here?" A moment's look sweeps up and down Ygraine again, as if to imply dressed like that as a silent companion.

Folding herself onto a seat, Ygraine moves with the precise care of someone becoming accustomed to nursing an injury, the heavy sling firmly immobilising her arm but not rendering it proof from inadvertent bumps and jolts. Alice's commentary on the differences in suitability between herself and Graeme draw a thoroughly intrigued look, which is followed by a wry smile.

"I'm here both to seek information and to ask for help. Someone within the Group took the trouble of staging a little display of power", she says quietly. "I am, quite carefully, not set up to be the primary point of contact for Liberty. I am also not publicly listed with either telephone or address on any readily-searchable database. True, as a property owner, I'm none too hard to find if you have a few connections or the ability to run a full credit check… but still, Graeme was directed to me specifically, in a manner that let me know that a great deal more about me was known than I had made public… yet that did not alert him to the significane of anything he knew about me."

Slightly inclining her head, she reaches up to remove her hat, resting it in her lap. "So… I am impressed, and I am somewhat intimidated, and I am thoroughly intrigued. Not least because the man sent to me is someone with a skillset to be of considerable assistance… yet who, on our first face-to-face meeting warned me that due to certain troubles in his life he would not be able to undertake in full the role I had hoped he could make his own. And given what little I could find out about the Group, I wondered if I might be able to find a way to persuade someone senior within it to disburse some of the philanthropy it is said to have been founded to provide - either to Liberty, direct into the trust fund for the court case we hope to arrange, or even to a little group I have set up to try to help survivors of the Dome gain the help they need from officials and from each other. Should a 'cover' be required for my visit, then I'm just a brazen freak attempting to talk a rich organisation into helping my pet project, on behalf of my fellow visitors. Of course someone who looks like me might pick a name half at random and go to poke its personnel for aid."

"You might not remember the name Ananda Kaur," Alice explains with a rather matter of fact tone of voice, taking a sip from her drink. "You may remember Mona Rao only slightly more," blue eyes flick to glance at Ygraine briefly, then settle back on her drink. "She's dead now, but in life she was an operative for an organization called the Company. Kaur was tasked with the job of infiltrating an organization you're familiar with. Phoenix." The glass is set down, and Alice looks up to Ygraine, hands folding on the table in front of herself.

"Kaur was not only a telepath, but a highly trained infiltration agent who was given access to what Phoenix colorfully called the Catabase. A repository of information on its operatives and associates, among which your name was listed. We aren't associated with the Company, whatever little of them clings to that name in hiding these days, but we do have access to some of their more critical information. Information we use to connect people."

Alice lounges back in her chair, crossing one leg over the other, hands folding over one knee. "Outside of that information, most everything else we know about you was accessed thorugh largely public domain information. We have a strong research team with expertise and… some of ours may have former ties to the Company, all truth be told. Useful skills never go out of fashion."

Drawing her teeth over her bottom lip, Alice considers the table for a moment, then looks back to Ygraine. "We sent Graeme to you because we support your idealism. He's a strong, useful resource to have at your disposal. More so now when you're asking for favors… ones we aren't quite willing to offer up, but ones we can… facilitate indirectly."

Listening intently, Ygraine's lips twist into a ruefully wry smile at mention of the Catabase… though it fades again soon after. Nodding slowly when Alice finishes, she thoughtfully eyes the older woman.

"I was never trusted by Phoenix, as I suspect you will be fully aware", she murmurs pensively. "It is… odd having that information filtered by this route to… affect me again in the present. Yes, Graeme is already proving useful. Yes, he is exceeding the limits he initially set on his own activities. Yes, I have hopes that he will feel able to go still further in future. But… right now? I'm a courier who is months from being able to ride again and is currently living on painkillers, with a mortgage to maintain and a campaign to run - when, as a foreigner, I can't even be seen to run it. I'm arrogant… but not so much that I feel at all confident about being able to manage this. So… if there is any help - or indirect facilitation - that you are able to offer, I will gladly receive it."

Looking up to Zachary, Alice motions for him to come over and makes a writing motion in the air with one hand. Zachary approaches Alice, retrieving a note pad and pen from inside his suit jacket, offering them out to her. Alice sets about writing down something on the pad, then sets down the pen and tears off the slip of paper, sliding it across the table to Ygraine.

Soleil Remi Davignon - Dorchester Towers, 502 is written in unexpectedly poor penmanship.

"Approach her about financial assistance," Alice explains, withdrawing her hand from the paper. "You needn't mention the Group or my name. She's a telepath, but a young one, still learning her aptitude in things. She's also wealthy enough to offer the assistance you need, though I imagine she may seek some form of help in return."

One corner of Alice's mouth creeps up into a smile. "Very little in this life is free."

Ygraine quirks a wry smile as she reads the name. "I already know her, from years back. She's pledged a couple of thousand to the fund, should a court case come to fruition. But her parents, apparently, charged her to be very careful with the money they left to her. So even for a friend…."

A one-shouldered shrug. "Out of interest - did you have something in mind that I could help her with? Or is there something that I could help you with?"

"Careful is a word open to interpretation," Alice admits with a smile, seeming intrigued at the past associations of the Davignon and FitzRoy strings. It seems not everything is spelled out for the Deveaux Group to know, and that some secrets are still just that. "She's putting on a performance soon, I'd support her in that. And…" Alice warily considers her answers, "we'll leave it at that until I talk to someone who knows more than I do about the Davignon family. I wouldn't want to make the wrong impression."

Slowly rising from her seat, Alice looks over to Zachary, then back to Ygraine. "It seems like a good fit though, doesn't it? You, Remi, Graeme?" One brow rises slowly, and Alice offers a crooked smile. "You should find everything you're looking for through her, for now. When that changes…" Alice tucks her hands into the pockets of her jacket. "Presume you'll probably hear from one of us."

Ygraine remains seated for a few moments, one brow raised and lips slightly curled as she eyes Alice. This at least seems to confirm that they truly aren't omniscient with regard to her, which in turn lets Robyn off the hook as a deliberately-involved pawn. Hrmmm.

A slight shake of her head to clear her run-away thoughts, then Ygraine chuckles, restores her hat, reclaims her cane and rises to her feet - the tight control of her motions one of the few remaining relics of her lost sporting career.

"Thank you for seeing me", she says softly, inclining her head to Alice. "And for… being polite enough to share what you have."

Slow to speak but quick to judge, Alice considers Ygraine again with one raised brow, her curiosity on the attire not quite sated to the extent she'd hoped, but it at the least would provide something to talk about once she gets back upstairs. Pushing her chair in, Alice nods to Zachary and then to the doorway, not waiting to watch him make headway to depart ahead of her before she turns her attention back on Ygraine.

"I wouldn't call it politeness," Alice admits with her head tilted to one side, her parting words just as much an explanation as it is a warning.

"It's survival."

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