London and... France?


franziska_icon.gif zachery_icon.gif

Scene Title London and… France?
Synopsis Zachery meets the latest addition to his team.
Date May 21, 2009

Harlem Morgue

The cold air and the strong odor of antiseptics carries all the way though into the entrance hall, going together perfectly with the strong lights, sterile whites and smooth metal surfaces. The cleaning products do a pretty good job at masking the lingering smell of death, but those who already know it will surely come to recognize it. As morgues go, this one isn't terribly special. The entrance hall has little else to look at but a sign that reads "Taceant colloquia. Effugiat risus. Hic locus est ubi mors gaudet succurrere vitae." Or: Let conversations cease. Let laughter depart. This is the place where death delights to help the living.

For those who have the authority to wander, the hall connects to four small offices, a large autopsy room, and a cold chamber. The latter's temperature dips well below freezing point and is only accessible to the morgue's employees.

Harlem's sun has dipped far below the horizon already, and as with any workplace, the local morgue is far from bustling with activity. The few people present are either fighting to meet a deadline or - as is probably the case with the scrubs-wearing employee at the 'cadaver keep' in the autopsy room - simply don't have that much else to do.

It's a shame all the fun work for today is over and done with, but that doesn't mean Zachery can't still make himself useful! He pulls open one of the large, metal drawers before flipping patiently through a stack of yellow brown files he's got tucked under one arm, balancing them precariously as he frowns at a scribbled statement. "See." He pauses his reading to peer dubiously at the toetag of the body lying in front of him, and mutters to himself. Well, probably himself. "I knew you hadn't left just yet. Crematorium lackeys and paperwork. If they didn't have me…" Disaster! Surely disaster.

While the day may be winding down, this is when the Harlem Morgue's latest employee - a transfer from Chelsea - is just getting to work. Or just getting down to the catacombs, as some may call them. Hard soled flats echo on the floor as a redheaded woman clad in a lab coat enters the 'cadaver keep.'

"«If they didn't have you, the dead may rest in peace?»" The query comes in French, the woman's tone somehow sounding flat while simultaneously amused. "Pardon," she murmurs after a moment, confident that her previous statement was not understood, "I'm looking for… un docteur Miller?" She squints down at the clipboard in her hands and then glances up at the man in the room. "If you can just point me in the right direction," she says in her heavily accented voice, "I'll let you get back to… talking with your patients."

If there had been a proper warning of impending French talk, she may have been understood. He may have even appreciated the wit. Instead he just ends up up nearly dropping the files as he twists around with a start, eyeing the stranger through a cracked lens. His mouth opens to speak, but his brain takes a few seconds to catch up and actually make the sounds. "I— ah. Hello." He exclaims helpfully, then clears his throat and struggles (with the help of both hands and a knee) to grumpily straighten his paperwork again. The woman is eyed in puzzlement throughout, until he finally and simply offers, "Who wants to know? Do I have to illegally cover up a murder again, or is it another bribe?" … He's only half joking, but he's stilled in the arts of sounding sarcastic. That's probably a good thing, in this case.

One delicate brow quirks upward as the woman listens to the man's words. "You are British," she responds, rather than to comment on bribery or illegal activities. Then she purses her lips for a moment. "…You are Docteur Miller?" Oh, great. "Doctoresse Poisson." One hand is extended, long pale fingers contrasted by bright green nail polish. "I'm your newest M.E."

A comment on how how he stopped considering himself truly British since this country's violently kicked nearly all of that out of him is never made, in favor of… more staring. There's really no other way to put it, and another pause presents itself. "… You are the newest M.E." He then repeats flatly, holding tightly onto his possessions. The eye contact with her face is broken only so he can look the rest of his new colleague over. "You're a woman and you're French." This, though it could easily be an insult, is delivered with a tone of confusion.

"I am not French," she corrects quickly. Doctoresse Poisson's eyes narrow only faintly. "I am Belgian." She takes a moment to mirror Zachery's action and looks her new boss up and down. "As for being a woman, I suppose I should thank you for noticing." So she isn't entirely devoid of a sense of humour. "Franziska," she offers, glancing back to her clipboard. "And the zed stands for…?"

The thank you actually manages to shake some other emotion than bewilderment out of Zachery, and he grins somewhat awkwardly as he clears his throat and finally moves away from his spot to put the files down somewhere. "— Ah. Zachery —" He answers, then finally remembers to offer a hand in return. "Doctor Zachery Miller. I'm… I'm sorry, I wasn't expecting to see a new face this late. Unless, you know, one reeled in on a gurney." He winces as if at his own comment, and clears his throat a second time. Caught off guard Zachery is caught off guard.
Franziska has partially disconnected.

"It is quite all right. I suspect I surprised our superiors by breezing through orientation so quickly." Franziska smirks faintly. "The accent throws people off. They assume that since I perhaps do not always pronounce your anglaise words correctly that I must also be unable to read." Her handshake is firm, but not in the way of a woman who feels she must prove something by breaking a male counterpart's hand. "I did not become a doctor by being unable to read in more than one language - Latin aside."

"There's also the fact that you're a woman." Zachery notes without thought. "I mean, there's Ross, but she's…" A little weird? He makes some vague gestures that never quite bring the point across. And as though he hasn't made enough awkward comments yet, he then adds matter-of-factly, "Statistically, you're not supposed to be here."

"Beautiful, no?" Franziska grins widely. "So, would you mind showing me around, boss? I'd like to get your take on my new surroundings. I must say, your layout is far different from my old lab in Chelsea. I'm impressed."

Boss. That's right, he's supposed to do something else than banter and stare dumbly. Ahem! He straightens and hastily makes his way to pass Franziska. "It's sufficient. There's room for improvement, but we do the best with what we have. It's mostly the staff that's lacking." … And as though that sparks a thought, he asks, "Why were you transferred?"

"They kept calling me the French girl, so I requested a transfer," Franziska responds easily. "I expect we won't have that sort of issue here?" It's a leading sort of question, the kind that also doubles as an order, but there does seem to be some degree of genuine curiosity to it. Surely a Brit would be smart enough to tell the difference between a woman from France and one from Belgium, no? "If you have concerns, however, I more than welcome you to inspect my performance record. My transcripts from university should be available as well if you wish."

"I'll be surprised if anyone shows an interest in where you're from." Zachery answers quickly with a forced, ingenuine work-smile. It disappears behind a blank face soon enough, and he leads the way toward the cold chambers. Quietly. Apparently a tour does not include any tour guide rambling, especially when said tour guide is visibly lost in thought and purposefully looking anywhere but toward his group of one. The walls and floor seem mighty interesting all of a sudden.

Franziska smiles politely as she receives only the most minimal of explanations from Zachery about the place where she'll be working. She nods her understanding and to prove she is actually listening, though she too seems to be absorbed by her surroundings. Floors and walls are interesting! Once the tour is concluded she smiles more than simply politely. "Thank you so much, Doctor Miller. I'm generally a quick study, though I trust you will forgive me if I have to ask the location of things now and again." She glances down once more at her notes and then back up to the other doctor. "What time are you finished around here anyway? I heard rumours I would be working for a man married to his job. Should I expect to see you knock off at some point? I assure you, unless you force me to leave, I've no intention of going home before my supervisor." The i.e. you remains implied.

"I, uh." And while Zachery usually does a pretty good impression of a supervisor (at least when at work), words seem to be failing him at the moment. He turns in Franziska's direction again, but while he tries to look at her face, he never quite looks straight into her eyes. "I'm… dedicated." He starts to explain, then takes off his glasses to halfheartedly inspect them for dirt. Despite their spotlessness. "I work until it becomes counterproductive to continue. I can't recommend you follow in my footsteps, doctor Poisson."

"Dedicated is good," Franziska allows with a tilt of her head. "I, too, am dedicated. The more dedicated personnelle on your staff, the sooner it becomes counterproductive to remain working." There's an impish sort of smile there. "It means you can go out and enjoy life," she clarifies.

A tired excuse for a chuckle leaves Zachery at that comment. "Life." After squinting down at his hands, the glasses are put back on. He takes a deep breath, scratches idly at a shoulder, and then finally nods and tells Franziska, "It'll interesting to have someone like you around here, I think. But maybe you should go home and prepare for your first full day at work." Still a bit of a supervisor, even if he doesn't manage to bring it very convincingly. No smile this time either, though.

Franziska's brows creep upward toward her auburn hair. "I assure you, I would much rather get an idea of how you do things around here as the day is winding down, rather than have a crash course tomorrow." The woman shrugs, "I was going to ask you to join me for a drink so that I might get to know you better - if you don't find that inappropriate."

"A-a drink." Zachery swallows, once again giving a nearby wall a look as though it might provide him with an answer while his brain is out of order. At least the non-literal part of it. "It is a bit unorthodox. While knowing your colleagues is beneficial to the atmosphere and productivity of a work environment, I…" He stops, failing to find the end to that sentence, and rubs his neck in both anxiety and frustration. Mmph. "I. I suppose I could use a drink or two. I suppose I might as well let you tag along." Smooth.

"Good," the woman declares. "It is settled. I shall help you finish up what needs to be done, and then we shall go out for drinks." Franziska rubs her hands together before moving to a counter to set down her notes and snap on a pair of rubber gloves. "Shall we?"

Clearly, the devil has arrived in Harlem, and she's Belgian.

In case you did not catch the reference in the title, Zachery is from Britain and Franziska speaks with a French accent. Sorry for the lack of panty shots in this log. I think you'll live.

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