More Than Bargained For


cooper6_icon.gif marlowe_icon.gif



Scene Title More Than Bargained For
Synopsis It's what Cooper gets when he asks Yamagato for help with a case.
Date February 10, 2021

Yamagato Industries

“Whoa,” whispers Ellen Cooper from the driver's seat of the teal colored mini cooper, her head ducking down to look at the looming Yamagato building. “This place is so cool.”

“Geez. It’s like some futuristic utopia from a movie,” comments her father, whose forehead is pressed against the door side window. “Of course, in those the robots that are supposed to make life easier… end up killing everyone.”

Ellen gives him a flat look, “You are such a buzzkill sometimes.”

“What?” Cooper looks at his daughter with a confused look, “It’s true. You watched those movies too!”

With a roll of her eyes, Ellen doesn’t deny it, but she also doesn’t tell him he’s right. Instead she shifts the conversation back to why her father was there. “Who are you seeing again, dad?”

With the fact he was missing a leg, driving for Cooper was a bit of a challenge at the moment. At least until he could get a prosthetic, which the doctor told him would be another month or so. Until then, he needed his daughter to drop him off where he needed to go. Today it was Yamagato.

Of course, she jumped at the chance of getting close to the place. It was one thing to see it at a distance, it was another when you drive up to the front door so to speak.

“Ah…” Cooper consults his notes, while Ellen pulls along the curb of the main building. “Says a… Marlowe Terrell?” He looks up at his daughter, only to find her staring at him like he’d said something shocking.

Are you shitting me?!” Ellen explodes with excitement - thankfully not literally since they were in a little cramped car - smacking him on the shoulder with disbelief. “Oh my gawd, Dad! Do you know who she is?!?” Her father could only look at her with confusion and a touch of concern.

“Uh… no?” His brows tip up. “Should I?” Her father seems uncertain.

Ellen huffs out an annoyed sigh and rolls her eyes. But at least she sort of explains, “Marlowe Terrell is only one of the most badass women in STEM. She got a social media page with nearly a million followers and she spoke at that event out near where you work. She is soooo cool. A total rockstar.”

“Oh. Sooo.. she’s a smart chick?” Thomas was obviously thinking of those nerdy, mousey women with thick glasses and lab coats. He'd horrify his daughter if she knew how much he stereotyped people.

“You’re so clueless.” Ellen hisses out and sighs. “She’s not just a ‘smart chic’” mocking his words and air quoting it. “She’s ah-maze-ing.” Cooper’s mouth pulls to one side, not sure what to think about his daughters gushing over the woman. Though, there were worse people to worship… like strippers.

Ellen gasps softly and sits up a little straighter in her seat. “Do you think she takes interns? Oh my gawd, Dad, can I //meet/ her?!?” Thomas finds himself at the receiving end of a wide-eyed puppy dog look.

“No. Absolutely not,” Thomas says quickly, popping open the door of the mini, with plans of getting out. Of course getting his wheelchair out of the back seat was going to be a challenge. “Ellen, sweetie, I’m here on official business. SESA business. I’d be abusing my power letting you meet her, when a regular Joe off the street couldn’t.”

Ellen pouts a little, but knew her father was right. It only takes a few moments for her to get out and retrieve his chair while he holds the soft car roof and balances on the one leg. He’d been lucky that his other leg had healed so well despite the multiple breaks and other damage that the bomb had caused. He still would never wear shorts again.

Several Minutes Later

Ever since Cooper had checked in at the security desk, he’d been kinda rolling around in the main rotunda looking up. It was amazing how the multistory structure soared above him, giving him a view of the various floors as people mill around the landings doing whatever scienc-y things they did there.

He made sure to be well groomed today. Yamagato was one of those places where you felt you had to look your best. So his hair was neatly combed and his beard trimmed. Cooper had dressed in an off-the-rack gray suit - his best in fact - with a matching gray tie that stood out against a grey blue shirt. One leg of his suit pants was folded under around the knee. Which meant he only had on one shoe and unlike the rest of him, it was a red converse hi-top sneaker.

“Damn…” Cooper whispers under his breath watching birds flit past, just outside the glass ceiling. “Almost seems bigger on the inside.”

Amidst the many faces of Yamagato staff walking to and from flowing work spaces to clear paneled offices, none appear to pay the suited man in a wheelchair mind as he spends his time marveling on the open floor. Despite the smoke that mars the outside atmosphere, Thomas Cooper might notice there's no such acrid odors offending his senses indoors, even though some faces he sees are covered with PPE that bears the Yamagato logo.

Upon his whispered observation, a soft whistling recalling the opening notes of a showtune regarding a spinning phone booth spaceship and its piloting alien doctor floats from behind him. "Hello Agent Cooper." Marlowe's voice follows the whistled notes. How long might she have been standing there watching as he did with the birds, could be guessed as just long enough.

When he turns, she's standing there with a red glittering encased tablet in hand. Marlowe's makeup, simple but impeccable. is smooth as her gait. A light pink shimmer off the gloss on her smiling lips reflects the rotunda's natural light brightly, like the tiny silver studs pinned in her ears which peek from behind her waves of hair. Her hair is down for the moment, natural in their look yet with some strips of highlights that halo her face and bounce and swish with lightness and volume with every step. The cabernet red pant suit she wears is paired with a sleek black knit sweater, testament to the chilly winter weather outdoors despite the climate controlled environment they're in.

As Marlowe approaches, she offers her ring-adorned hand to shake rather than a bow which may also have been expected. "I hope you haven't been kept waiting long."

There is an amused and rather impressed grin when Cooper turns to see who'd be behind him. “A fellow fa—“ Then there is a shift to jaw-dropping shock at the woman standing there. “Whoa.”

Whoa?!? Dude. What the fuck? Say something.

Cooper gives a shake of his head and that bright goofy grin returns. “Hey” No too informal. “Hi.” Getting closer. “Hello…” That will work. “Uh, sorry,” he says through a nervous laugh. “I didn’t expect…” He trails off stopping himself from saying the wrong thing. Instead, he lets go of a wheel and takes her hand, trying to seem serious. Clearing his throat, he shakes her hand gently, “Nice you meet you, Miss…?”

He has no idea.

Bowing comes after the handshake in the form of Marlowe's slight bend at the waist, all in keeping with tradition and courtesy. "Terrell, Marlowe Terrell." She smiles again with a fainter twist - she knows exactly what British spy her introductory format sounds like - and goes on to add, "But please, Marlowe is fine." Releasing his hand so he can return it to his chair, she takes a quick peek at her tablet screen to check something before turning back. "Normally you'd have been escorted to the office, but I thought it'd be less stiff to meet you in the main rotunda."

After another beat, Marlowe's smile widens a little more. "I hope you were offered one of our courtesy MPVs to use at the front desk? If not, I could still request one brought to us." The woman clicks her tongue softly, making a mental note to correct that miss at the check-in counter.

Marlowe Terrell. If it could, his jaw would have hit the floor. This striking and radiant creature with a bedazzled ipad case was the big brain at Yamagato he was supposed to talk to?

“But, you’re beautiful!

The words are out of Cooper’s mouth before his brain can stop them. Of course, as soon as they pass through his lips he looks horrified, realizing that he just said that outloud.

Way. To. Go. Dorkus. Maximus.

“I’m sorry. Th-that… that was uncalled for, I just…” Cooper finally shuts up. Lips press together while he chooses his next words carefully. “I can see why my daughter idolizes you. Pretty, fansionable, and smart… and I’m just gonna shut about that now.” Seriously, he can’t get over how his Hollywood perception of smart female nerds was being blown out of the water at the moment.

He liked it.

Fingers grip the wheels of his personal wheelchair after his hand is released. “Anyhow, yes they offered, but I kinda like my Cooper-powered wheels,” Thomas lifts the front wheels of the chair off the floor and does a completed spin without moving from his spot much. He had practiced that… alot. “Good exercise, too, since my fitness regimen has suffered greatly after having my leg blown off.”

Considering their surroundings, Marlowe had been trying to keep cool herself. The brief, blurted statement draws out a laugh from the woman upon the man's horror and realization that yes, he just said that. To her face. She heard it. The more he qualifies it, the more Marlowe smiles in a way that hints, Cheshire Cat-like, that she is quite pleased. "Well thank you and your daughter for the flattery," she says after he's come to a stop once he's done his wheelie and come to a stop again. "Let me know if she's interested in a tour of the workshops. Always open for bright, young ladies to test their minds and mettle against our modern engineering challenges."

The moment he mentions the source of his injury, though, the warmth bleeds away from her face to be replaced with a sympathetic, even a little guilty, drawing together of her carefully sculpted eyebrows. "I'm so sorry to hear that, but I'm glad you survived. I was there at the attack in October," she says, sobered. "A… a friend was there, and I think his power kept us from far worse outcomes." A short pause, a look to her tablet, and she taps a few things onto her device before she looks back to the seated man. "As things are, I hope they catch whoever planted those bombs." Somber emotion fills in along the edges with a cold, hardened determination.

Layering over it yet again, Marlowe builds back the polite face and gestures for them to head in a direction, presumably the way to her office. "So anyway. What can we do for you, Mister Cooper?" she asks when they're on the move again.

“It’s still an active investigation.” He says about the bombing. “We have a name, but… they haven’t been able to locate them, yet,” Cooper says, though his tone shows confidence that they will bring whoever it is to justice.

Moving to follow after her, Cooper’s face looks blank for a moment when he looks up at her. What could she do for him? Maybe it was the sparkly tablet case or her equally sparkly personality, but the whole reason he was here had slipped his mind.

I mean… there were things he could think she could —

There is a blink and then brows shoot up. “Oh, yes. The request,” Cooper says with realization that he still had a job to do. This wasn’t ‘try and get her number’ time - she was way out of his league anyhow. And how old was she?!? Ellen’s age?

Shoving his mind into the proper direction again, arms propel Cooper along as he turns to the rather serious matter and starts to lay out the circumstances of why he was there. “As I’m sure you are aware, several people last year were grabbed up and then showed up in a plane crash in Canada.” Several of Yamagato had turned up in that incident after all. “Not just that, there were changes to them. While we’re constantly learning more about what’s changed in them, we don’t have a lot of leads on who did it.” Which was frustrating SESA to no end, if the tight press of his lips says anything.

Doors slide open with a soft, pneumatic hiss to accompany their progress into marked area near the elevators. Marlowe is quiet in the short walk and wait, listening with a small nod to acknowledge the agent's explanation about the Canadian plane crash, but she reserves her reply until they’re within the elevator. Instead of going up towards the offices, Marlowe directs them down. Under the ground floor.

"President Nakamura had been amongst the victims, as well as one of our top chemical engineers Miss Wesley-Khan and her husband," she confirms on shared information. "We soon learned of the others in varying areas of high profile were taken, too. Your own, Agent Miller, and RayTech Industries' Miss Thatcher." That's obviously not all the victims, but the elevator slows to a stop before they need to go through any sort of roster.

When the elevator doors open, they're in marked subfloor 1, one of the building's R&D workshop levels. There's hardly any hint otherwise of dark or industrial bleakness in the belly Yamagato Industries' building. The walls are a calm grey and white, brightly lit with unoffensive diffuse lighting tracks and a slight curve to the metal sheets covering them, like entering a sci-fi movie set of a space station rather than a basement floor. Marlowe doesn't miss a beat and seems unperturbed by it all. Maybe because she's seen it for so long. Maybe because she's well aware of its purposeful aesthetic.

She leads him along and away from the elevator to an open, empty workshop where various machinery stands idle and waiting for operation. Cooper can see across the floor, working tables and inactive, dimmed screens bearing Yamagato's logo. But off to one side, a wide desk sits with an office chair. It's there that Marlowe drops into with familiarity although her posture remains poised. She's aware of appearances even here in the comforting confines of a shop. "I was informed there would be a request from SESA that might require use of our help in the investigation."

She taps a few points on her tablet screen and then gestures into the air, where the contents of what she had been seeing on the smaller screen are replicated right into the photoreactive space between them. A large, geographic map of the Canada crash site demarcated with the border around the impact and headshots of all the victims known. "President Nakamura's wish, I have little doubt, would be to provide that aid when there is a chance to learn who was responsible for this crime. So that’s the big question, isn’t it? Who’s behind all this?" Who indeed, as Marlowe stares up to the floating faces, particularly up at Kimiko’s.

“This place is wicked cool,” Cooper half whispers in wonder, even though he doesn’t understand a damn thing he’s looking at. It’s all just buttons and switches with no meaning to him. “I half expect to see R2-D2 wheeling out or a transporter pad somewhere. If you pull out a phaser or a tricorder.. or hell a real sonic screwdriver, I might just fanboy out on you, Ms. Marlowe.”

Thomas’ not joking either.

His attention falls on the desk just in time to see the holograms pop-up, “Whoa!” Cooper’s jaw drops and he wheels himself closer. There is no doubt by his expression that he’s never been to Yamagato before. Leaning forward, he can’t help but run his fingers through it, wiggling them through it with a big cheesy grin. “All’s that’s missing is a talking computer.”

Of course, he realizes what he’s doing and clears his throat, dropping his hand to his lap. “Anyway, ah… the request,” Cooper’s voice deepened a little, as if that makes him sound more serious. Cause he was here for a serious matter.

“The reason I am here is we may finally have our first chance at finding out the who in what happened.” Taking the file from his lap and setting it on her desk he flips open the file and pulls out a couple of photos. “Someone broke into Raytech recently and tried to kid name Jac Childs who is another of the victims. They were able to stop it and capture one of them, Iov Oblonsky.” The photos are flipped to face her one by one. “The other is either Kate or Cecilia Archer, she got away,” he says blandly. “We have a working theory that these might be the people that took everyone, just not who paid them to do it.”

There is a small sigh that escapes him, as a look of frustration crosses his normally jovial features. “Unfortunately, Oblonsky was hurt in the conflict and is unable, and probably will never be able to, answer questions. However, it was discovered that he has cybernetics - different from the victims - and SESA is requesting that Raytech and Yamagato work together on an analysis of these implants. It might give us the first real clue we need.”

Every bit of fandom that he names gets a smile of familiarity from Marlowe, even a thoughtful glimmer within her gaze as she considers the possibilities of droids and transporter pads and handheld equipment. Well the latter she has, practically. And the remark about a talking computer gets another grin, this one more sly.

The grin wanes once Cooper returns to the actual topic of the meeting at hand. Marlowe focuses on the photos passed to her, sitting up and reaching over to pull some in for closer study. Carefully maintained brows twitch inward when she peers at Jac's photo. It clearly disturbs her to see the younger victim.

She looks back to Cooper as he shares the info on Oblonsky. Brows that were furrowed down, arch up. Cybernetics has her attention. "Getting hurt in the act. Some would say serves him right, hm? But you say he's got different cybernetics in his system… Different, how?" It's not demanding an immediate answer, even though her tone's undercarriage sways with alarm like a disturbed cobra. "And if SESA is requesting a foreign company's assistance, though, does that come with any statutes? Would we get equal access to Oblonsky, or should we expect to face limitations from the agency? For the sake of federal discretion." She does understand, some things are need to know as well. Speaking of which.

Marlowe pushes back up to her feet but to slide the hard copy photographs and paper files Cooper brought out into an orderly row on her workshop desk.

"Jiba," she then calls to the air, "scan these photos and documents into my database for further review, mark personal encryption."

At once, Director Terrell. A male-toned artificial voice sounds from all around the pair, warmed and polite.

Marlowe's smile returns, faint but knowing she saved that bit about the talking computer. "Jiba is our virtual assistant program within the building and has certain tie-ins throughout the park where we need," she explains with a gesture to the air. "Like… a fancy Clippy." Her fingers slide along as she examines the photos again, stopping on that of Iov Oblonsky, beside it one of the Archers.

Cooper’s eyes go wide at the voice that answer’s Marlowe and he looks around, his mouth in the shape of an ‘O’. Not out of fear, but like a geek at a convention or a kid at Christmas. “Okay… that,” he points up, “that was cool. You guys have it all! Hello, Jiba,” He says in a small voice, looking up like he’d see a hovering face above them or something. Not really expecting an answer he shakes his head in wonder, “I want a talking computer at the office, man… that would be //sweet/.”

When Thomas looks down again, his boyish grin falls away as he remembers he’s here on business.

Clearing his throat, Cooper pulls out proper paperwork for her and offers a sheepish look. “We’d, of course, ask for distression since this is an active investigation. No discussing it with anyone outside the investigations, blah blah blah… red tape, red tape…” Clearly, he’s not much of a fan of red tape, “and we’ll be asking that he be surrendered back to us after the examination, because… I mean… he’s under arrest for trying to kidnap a kid and assault and all that jazz.” His hands spread with a shrug.

“But when it comes to how different those things are, that’s why we’re calling the big brains in for,” Cooper says rather matter of factly, “Plus, I haven’t seen it all myself, I’m just the messenger.”

From all around them, the sound of Hello Agent Thomas Cooper answers Jiba with the customary response of prompted conversation.

Marlowe laughs lightly, glad to see the wonder that gets taken on in Cooper's face when he hears the company's talking computer. "Well I'm not saying that a talking computer shouldn't be on your agency's future budgetary discussions, but perhaps they're really actually worried about the potential abuses it would need to be put through first. You know how people are, if you give them something to play with." A twist of wryness pulls at her smile.

But really, as they settle the matter of Yamagato's cooperation with the Oblonsky investigation, that leaves Marlowe with little else but to nod and make notes. "Once we receive clearance and arrange the time with your agency, of course we will give our best efforts in helping SESA's case build. Sooner better than later I assume, given Mr. Oblonsky's condition. We aren't sure if or when his friends are going to come looking, right? And we don't know what condition the cybernetics are in either, so time is definitely of the essence."

Marlowe stands there seemingly in wait for a response not from Cooper, but soon Jiba's voice returns. Scan complete, Director Terrell. Encryption code set. Please note, biometric confirmation will be required to access.

"Thanks Jiba," she says, her smile returning. Marlowe steps around the table, slips the photos and document files back into the folder and offers it back to Cooper. "Now, I can't help but be a bit curious, Agent Cooper. Is there a different, deeper reason the agency would send a messenger like you?"

“Dude that is so cool,” Cooper says under his breath.

Of course, Marlowe’s question pulls his attention back down to the woman, taking the folder from her slowly. There is a confused blink of pale green eyes. “What?” Cooper has no idea what she’s talking about. Brows furrow as he tries to figure out what she’s talking about.

There is a slight tilt of Cooper’s head, eyes narrowing suspiciously. “Now that you mention it, I thought it was kind of weird they let me out of the office. Much less let me do liaison-y things like this.” What was he called? A walking HR violation? Why would they let him near Yamagato when he could very well cause an international incident by saying the wrong thing.

Grin returning in a measured manner, Marlowe can't help the little head shake like she's thought of something and admires its cleverness. Rather, the agency's cleverness. She thinks so, anyway. "There's absolutely no reason you could think of at all? Because I can think of one." Her question leads to her turning to the desk and reaching over to tap a few spots on the glass.

Another short swipe brings up a new display floating the photokinetic particles, this time of a cybernetic prosthetic leg model in slowly rotating 3D showcase. It's label, YX Calceus Model 1.4b, glows just beneath the rotating robotic limb. "If you remember almost three years ago now, April 29th, 2018. The bombing attack on the Fellowship center across campus, it left many…" She pauses, smile fading at the memory, but clears her throat softly and continues, "Our former director of the tech division, Mr. Otomo, was severely injured. He ended up losing a leg. Across the Pacific, Ms. Nakamura also suffered major trauma after she was attacked. And, I, along with the teams here, helped in designing and manufacture of these prothestics."

"Truthfully, these were meant to help people. Accidents happen. But also, unfortunately almost as frequently, victims of war and violence. Some don’t always recognize when they need the help," Marlowe says even softer, looking back to Cooper for a longer moment of further evaluation. “What I’m trying to say is, do you want some help?” And after a beat of watching him again, hard swallows down a spot of pride to add, “A leg up?”

The laugh that escapes Cooper is one of disbelief… and maybe a little at the pun, but mostly disbelief as he stares at the rotating graphic of a real, honest to god, cybernetic leg. It was disbelief in what she was offering to him. “You’re pulling my leg,” he blurts out the possibly unintentional pun. Though one look at her, he knows she wasn’t joking. The incredulous smile he has slowly fades into an ‘Oh’.

Cooper had been resigned to the fact that he’d have limitations, but he had embraced that. Seeing it less as a disability, but a reason to prove he could still do his job. But now there was hope of something closer to normal, he realizes… he wasn’t as okay with it as he thought.

Realizing he’s staring, Cooper reels back in his enthusiasm as he points out something important. “I… I appreciate what you’re offering, Ms. Terrell, - I mean… who wouldn’t want a chance to be robocop - but… I’m just an agent, I can’t afford fancy footwear like that.” He seems reluctant to say it. She was a corporate goddess and he was a mere lowly mortal with almost nothing to his name… except Al that is.

His attention is drawn back to the leg as Cooper points out, “That thing probably costs as much as all the lifetime salaries of every SESA Agent in the Safe Zone combined!” Okay. he might be exaggerating a little.

"Expense it to the agency as part of your work-related injury settlement," suggests Marlowe quickly, albeit not so seriously as to solidify her opinion on the matter. A ring-adorned hand waves off the worry of price tags. "There are some realities that come with cybernetics, though. Medical ones - surgeries for the anchoring points, adjustments, anti-rejection pills. I won't go as far as to say you'd have to drink what Iron Man drinks."

A couple gestures reduces the enlarged model down to a manipulable size. As if she were holding the actual limb in hands, she approaches Cooper, turning and adjusting the holographic model until it sits where his folded and pinned pant leg lies. Then she steps back to admire the handiwork, head tilting this way and that to consider the fit. "Think about it?" she says to the wheelchair bound man.

Looking down at the holographic leg, Cooper doesn’t move when she places it, watching her out of the corner of his eye when she bends so close. When she steps back, he quickly averts his eyes down to the leg and his breath catches. He’s almost afraid to breathe or look away in case doing so would make the floating image disappear.

“You’re such an unexpected angel… Let's do it.”

The breathless words are out of his mouth on the heels of her urging him to think about it. “The leg,” Cooper says pointing at it, as if it needs to be clarified. Lips press tight before he can put that holographic foot in his mouth and lose the chance to have one.

Hardships be damned. To be as close to whole as he can… in his mind it’s worth it.

“I have a very important question tho…” Cooper arches a questioning brow, “Will I be able to charge my phone with it?” Almost on cue his phone starts playing My Humps by Black Eyed Peas. He’s quick to silence it, before asking further, “Also compartments to hide things, like… I dunno snacks?” He asks it all so seriously, it’s hard to know if he’s joking or not.

Although about to answer his serious inquiry about phone charging, Marlowe pauses with painted lips parted as the phone starts to right. After only a couple of thick bass notes bumping from the ringtone, she recognizes the song. Her laugh bubbles out before she can stop it, even if not much effort is made to do so.

"Mr. Cooper, what you do with your leg and your body is your choice," Marlowe eventually replies lightheartedly, "but before you do that, I do ask you think about the possibilities of unwanted intrusions that might gum up the works. Or just make for a very alarming spring morning spent cleaning." Did she answer the question? Not really. But that she doesn't outright reject the idea of a phone charging port or hidden compartments leaves that bit of wiggle room to entertain the ideas.

Reaching back to snag her tablet off the desk top, she taps away a few things that cause the holographic limb to dissipate back into the air. After a second combination of taps, Cooper's phone chimes with a general text message received. "That's me, in case you think of any further questions or concept additions," Marlowe smiles amusedly and concludes, "Now then, I think that's business settled? We'll let legal and accounting worry about the paperwork. Let's go back upstairs and I'll see you out. I want to meet your daughter." She gestures with a hand an 'after you'.

“Best brace yourself, Ms. Terrell, you know not what you are about to walk into,” Cooper says with amusement at the idea of Marlowe meeting his daughter.

Sometime Even Later

A breathless Ellen falls into the driver's seat and looks at her father with amazement as she starts the car, “She is sooo much cooler in person. My friends are not going to believe me, but I got proof.” It was obvious that she was holding on to all the excited energy from meeting one of her idols and getting a selfie with her. Pulling away from the curb, she turns a side eye to her father, “So? What do you think of her? I was right, huh?”

A breath leaves Cooper and ends with a small laugh, turning to look at the building as they start their journey home. “What can I say… she’s super smart, beyond gorgeous, and has an amazing sense of humor?” He turns his focus back to his daughter who is nodding in agreement with all of it. At least until her father places a hand on his chest and he says, “Be still my heart.”

Suddenly all that excitement drains out of her face and is replaced with protective worry. "Dad. No."

"What? She knows all these geeky nerdy things…. She’s… so… man…" Cooper doesn’t have words for it. His hand rubs at that spot above his heart. “My heart won’t stop beating weird. Just keeps skipping, kinda like when I saw my first donut after the war.”

"Dad….” Ellen’s voice is filled with caution. It doesn’t take a genius to see that her father is smitten with someone way outside of his league. As much as she thinks Marlowe Terrell was super, she worries more about her father’s heart. It was far more fragile than he’d ever admit.

Determined to head this off before it can get any worse, Ellen pulls over once they’ve left Yamagato grounds and turns to him with a serious and matter of fact look. “Dad, look at me.” He does so, looking rather confused about the fact they have stopped.

“She’s way above your station. Women like her eat men like you for breakfast.” Her father opens his mouth to protest, but Ellen holds up her hands to stop him. “Let me explain this in terms you’ll understand.” Hands are pressed together like she’s praying this gets through his head. “You.. Dad…are… a dodo and Ms. Terrell… well, she's a swan.” Hands part and she holds up one index finger on each hand. Both birds, but two totally different species and completely incompatible."

Cooper’s face goes flat as his daughter gives him the rundown, acting all Miss Negativity. “Well,… I know a couple that works. Roger and Jessica Rabbit. Roger was a rabbit and Jessica was a human and they were very happy together.” He spreads his hands, clearly thinking his argument is valid, but his daughter just stares at him with disbelief.

Dad. That’s a cartoon. This is real life,” Ellen bursts out, completely flabbergasted that he uses a cartoon for his argument.

“Oh, ye of little faith,” Cooper counters, convinced that he was right.

God, you’re hopeless,” Ellen huffs out, turning back to the road and the task of getting them home. Silence falls over the pair of them, her father staring out the window with a small happy smile, while she fumed a little with frustration at his inability to see reason. She was totally going to tell Uncle Raq and ask for his help to knock some sense into her father. Last thing she wanted was her dad hu—

“Think she likes balloon animals?”

Ellen groans.

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