Not the Definition of Photobomb


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Scene Title Not the Definition of Photobomb
Synopsis Friends of Jaiden Mortlock gather to support the opening of his new Survivors exhibition. The survivors aren't only contained to photographs, however. And not everyone thinks the Dome was a bad idea.
Date March 31, 2011

The Waterdale Gallery

The Waterdale Gallery, a repurposed warehouse on the periphery of the bomb's blast zone, sits in a neighborhood that is humming with the return of a former vibrancy. A heavily renovated building that, at one time, held a small shipping company that specialized in heavy things, like anvils and phone books has changed into a center of the arts. Now, the walls have been smoothed and painted, the high ceilings cleaned, and lights have been installed to wash the entire room in soft, almost natural light.

Scattered around at roughly equidistant intervals are pictures, each with a small hand-written caption on a white card beneath, showing images from the survivor's perspective of the weeks inside the dome. These captions are accompanied by accounts, both recorded and written, by people from inside the dome - some aliases, some only initials, or the part of the city they're from, but each gives context to the survivor's viewpoint. These people maintained their humanity, even in the face of unimaginable odds, not even knowing if they'd ever escape.

The key photo, titled "Survivors," is mounted on an easel just inside the front door. Blown up to make the viewer feel like they're getting the same view from inside the dome, an image of a woman and child are shown sitting on the stoop of a damaged building. The young child next to her and she are both looking up at the sun through the curve of the dome. The woman is pointing, explaining something to the boy, whose face shines through a layer of grime that has accumulated over the time inside. Their heads are dirtied, but unbowed. True survivors.

Professional-looking waiters circulate with small trays of hors d'ouvres and bottles of water for the visitors on the opening night - a rave review on an early showing given to the New York Times Culture section saw to it that there was a line waiting to get in when the doors opened at 6:00pm. The proprietor of the Gallery, Mr. Stephen Colbert (no, not that one), seemed pleased with the turnout, his small supply of cards already handed out to aspiring artists and sculptors, and the man who ran Galen's Bistro, the person who supplied the food and drink, was busy re-stocking trays and getting the occasional comment on the quality of the food. Security is there, but unobtrusive, not needed at all. It seems that the evening is going well.

Jaiden Mortlock, the photographer who took these images during his time in the dome, stands in a rather conspicuous place near the center of the gallery, next to the large 'Survivors' pictures, answering questions, posing for pictures, and generally being a good host. Snippets of conversation can be heard from him. "Thank you for coming. Good to see you. Donation? Of course. Make checks payable to The Survivor Fund and leave them in the box by the door. Liberty? Oh, yes. They've provided the funds for admission. They've really helped us out. I think they've left some brochures, here and there." Lots of small talk and lots of smiles come from the Australian.

Richard Cardinal is here not as a guest, but as the head of the security detail. Not that you'd be able to tell, since he's dressed to the nines himself to blend in. A dark, pinstripe suit, a fedora perched on his head. A pair of sunglasses enigmatically worn indoors help to hide the ear-bud that he's wearing as he saunters somewhat casually around the perimeter of the gallery, ostensibly looking at the photographs but in actuality keeping an eye on the people who come in.

He's not the only one here; other men in dark suits and glasses are placed around the room, mostly near the exits and entrances, and there's a few others outside keeping an eye on different parts of the building and keeping in regular contact. Redbird Security isn't quite going overboard, but they're thorough, at least. They learned some lessons from what happened at the Christmas ball, and they're determined to make sure it doesn't happen again.

Graeme's attending, as he'd promised he would, but he's off, a little to one of the sides of the gallery at the moment, bent down with his good arm around the shoulders of the black purebred Great Dane that's been with him half the day so far. "That's right, good boy," he murmurs as he gets up. The leash, short for the evening, is wrapped around his wrist, along with a soft command to follow, and as Graeme goes off to find Jaiden and Ygraine and be social again, Odin paces right behind the man, looking generally a little bit sad and forlorn.

Though tonight's spotlight is firmly on Jaiden, the exhibition, and the survivors themselves, it seems that Mortlock has a bit of active assistance tonight. Clad in distinctly subdued tones, Ygraine wears a loose woolen sweater that is prone to slipping off one bare, white shoulder - but otherwise her appearance is highlighted only by simple silver studs in her ears, and the warm blue dye illuminating the lowest portion of her otherwise-black braid of hair.

The Briton seems to be sticking to the periphery of things, liaising with the gallery's manager - a sharply dressed and hawk-nosed man of hard-to-place origin - and his pretty assistant. The first two of the trio seem to primarily be on watch for problems, while the lovely Melanie is breezing around providing enthusiastic welcomes to any who seem as if they might be interested in the Waterdale Gallery for their own future use.

Outside, a small but vocal and yet so far "peaceful" group of protestors create a jagged line that has to be crossed. They are young and not well organized — hand painted signs with a few misspellings suggest a lack of planning, but they are definitely of the Anti-Evolved variety. "EVOS, GO HOME!" or "STICK THE EVOS IN A DOME" seem to be the most creative of their slogans, not seeming to take into account that New York City is the home of many of the Evolved that they seem to take issue with. A solitary policeman stands nearby, to ensure they don't cause (too much) trouble, though he looks bored, checking out the rear of one of the college-aged protestors in tight jeans.

Inside, the frank and familiar face of JJ Jones belongs to one of the many guests, and he's studying the image of the mother and child with a rare solemnity, a scowl furrowing his brow as he stares at the one photograph for a long and quiet moment; he's jostled by a couple passing by, and seems not to see or hear the waiter offering him one of the plates of tiny pieces of food.

Perhaps the most unexpected of all those to attend the exhibit, having been outspokenly against it when he first heard of its design, Devon Clendaniel appears amongst the mingling guests. Though far more casually dressed in blue jeans and black sweater over white button down, he's decided to see for himself what views the others may've had within the Dome.

Hands resting firmly within pants pockets, the teenager moves amongst the photographs silently. All too easily those twenty one days are brought back to life, marked with a furrowing of Devon's brow. He doesn't linger too long on any one photo, taking one in and then moving on to the next.

Shaking a portly gentleman's hand - surprisingly, the same portly gentleman he was talking to way back at Remi's ballet, Jaiden excuses himself and politely steps away to speak to Ygraine. "It appears to be going well." That is an understatement, of course, as is Jaiden's usual low-key way of commenting that things are going rather splendidly. He's dressed comfortably in a pair of slacks and a button-down shirt with the sleeves rolled up to the elbows - wanting to come off as a 'common bloke' and not an artsy-type of person. He left the beret home!

Cardinal stops near the entrance to look out as someone else comes in, regarding the protestors with a rather rueful look. "Eyes on the crowd?" A quiet murmur into his microphone, "Good, good. Just… let me know if you see any weapons or anything out there, alright? Fucking bigots…" The fedora's adjusted, and he continues on his easy amble around the room. Do de do, just another art lover.

Some people are working tonight, and some are not. Elisabeth is one of the latter, coming through the door with a casual grace. Her blue eyes flicker around, taking in the room's occupants, and she smiles faintly. The black dress and strappy sandals were perfect, she notes as she takes in the visitors to the exhibition.

There's a smile on Graeme's face, and with a bit of gentle encouragement for the huge dog following him, he makes his way over to Liz, falling into step along side her after a moment. There are other people present he'd like to talk to, but for the moment, he'll forgo that. "It's a nice evening so far, isn't it?" he says, quietly. "And it's good to see you." Odin's stance is a little more tense, amongst all the people, but still, mainly, the Great Dane is sad rather than anything else.

Ygraine responds to Jaiden's comment in what might be an unexpected manner, stepping in to deliver a one-armed hug. Tonight is the first in this whole month in which she has been seen without a sling, but she still seems to be wary of using her now-freed arm. "Having a rather talented photographer's work to display does rather help. Even if I'll still claim that it's the unique perspectives from which some shots were taken that truly make it a roaring success", she teases gently - before looking surprised, and smiling warmly. "Liz made it. I wasn't expecting her to. I'm touched."

There's so much that should be getting done right now. Sliding into a short, yellow chiffon dress with a black corset and black patent leather knee-high boots that tend to conjure images of Sally Jupiter, right down to the styling of snow white hair (even if the red velvet patch speckled with iridescent sequins detracts from that a touch), to attend a gallery opening should not be on Odessa Price's busy schedule. And if it weren't for the connection to the Dome, she wouldn't be making time for it at all.

She expects to see familiar faces in the photographs, even if she doesn't have names for them. She kept much to herself during her time beneath the Dome. As much as one can when they're seeing patient after patient. But even those faces are just a blur. Now if someone came up to her to say something like I had the compound fracture and the broken ribs, that would jog Doctor Price's memory. What she doesn't expect is to see a familiar face - one she does put a name to, standing in front of the exhibition's shining glory.

"Mister Jones," would normally be something of a predatory purr coming from Odessa's lips as she sidles up alongside of him. Instead, her tone is polite and almost curious. The distance she leaves between them is respectable. "Didn't expect to see you here." Red painted lips curve into a faint smile, dimpling the scar slashed across her mouth.

Suddenly and seemingly out of the shadows, a redhead steps up behind Cardinal as he mills through the crowd, small hands sliding up around and beneath his sunglasses. "Guess who!" comes the bright and cheery voice, before she steps back and studies the photograph they're closest to.

"Hmmmmmmmmmmmm," is long and drawn out, an air of mock art criticism as green eyes peer across a pair of vintage cat-eye tortoiseshell glasses. "I think it could use more red," says Jolene Marley as she grins up at Cardinal. "'Sup, boss?"

Across the room, JJ turns, green eyes narrowing in a different way altogether at the familiar and scarred face of Odessa. "Doctor," he says, before he smiles amiably enough. "Good to see you well. I'd ask if you're enjoying the exhibit, but…" He shrugs. It's too real for them to be art.

The aimless walk, the looking over images he'd rather have forgotten comes to a subtle stop. Devon's attention fixes on one of the images, lips thinning and brows working into a frown. He gives particular scrutiny to the single photo, lingering a moment or two longer before pulling himself away. "Still don't agree with this," he says to himself, turning so as to take in the varied reactions of the other guests.

Ah! There's Elisabeth. Cardinal's just about to take a step over in her direction when - suddenly - there's a pair of hands sliding over his face, and he stiffens up sharply, one hand drifting towards his coat before he recognizes the voice even as she pulls back. "Jolene," he drawls out, turning a bit to give her a rather dry look, "You know, surprising me like that when I'm working a job prrrrrobably isn't the best idea in the world."

Elisabeth glances up at Graeme and grins, her brows shooting up at his companion. "Is that even allowed in here? What is it, a horse?" She grins at him and looks back at the exhibit. "It's…. shocking. I needed to come. One of my officers was in there. I needed to… see." Her blue eyes note Jolene jumping Cardinal and she has to smother a bit of a grin — usually it's her who jumps like that at a certain shadow.

There's a chuckle from Graeme. "No, he's a Great Dane, Liz. Jaiden pulled some strings so he could come with me, plus, he's well behaved," Graeme says. "Odin, say hi." At the prompt, Odin takes a few steps out from behind Graeme, towards Liz, tail wagging softly. "Specifically, Odin is my sister's Great Dane," he murmurs. "It's the absolute least of our concerns right now, but she's skipped town as of this afternoon. Asked me to take care of her dog while she does so." There's another chuckle, followed by a frown. "Yeah. It is. I mean, I knew a lot, from when I was working in the relief efforts right after. But it's definitely shocking."

"About as much as you are, I would imagine," Odessa admits of the gallery. "There is one thing that I'm curious about…" Normally, keeping her private conversations private wouldn't be difficult. But things are decidedly abnormal for Odessa as of late following the loss of her ability. So, she turns her head for a cautious look about them to ensure they aren't attracting unwanted attention. "Did you manage to save that man, Pitt?"

Self- and sub-consciously, Odessa reaches up seemingly to fix her hair. Instead, her fingers are brushing over the fresh scar across her scalp where she was grazed by a bullet on the day in question. It's not angry and pink anymore and only requires minimal effort to keep it hidden beneath her locks. The stitches are out on the through-and-through in her right shoulder shoulder finally, after only having torn them out twice. There's a lot of make-up caked on to make that wound blend away beneath gauzy yellow fabric. "I just sort of assumed…" Her hands fold in front of her to keep from fidgeting. Black painted nails contrasting with pale skin where they gently dimple the skin between opposite knukcles.

The FRONTLINE officer's jaw sets at the question Odessa asks and he shakes his head. "I'm sure I don't know what you're talking about," he says coolly. "You must have me mistaken for someone else." In other words, he isn't about to talk about it, here or — likely — anywhere. He gives a nod to her and then moves away, toward where Devon stands in front of one photograph.

"Hey kid," he says with a smile. "You doing all right?"

Across the room, Jolene smirks. "You ain't got nothin' I can't handle!" she says merrily. "And you're working? How come I'm not on the clock — oh, right I'm here for an 'art appreciation' class. Are we expecting trouble?" She looks a bit excited at the thought, and turns to look around the room, grinning and waving as she sees Liz.

Outside, the chants of "EVO, GO HOME!" start to rise, louder when the door opens to let new gallery guests inside.

"You work as a mail clerk, Jolene," Cardinal has to observe rather wryly, "I'm not exactly going to stick you in a suit and give you a gun. I'm not even sure if you're old enough to get a license for me to give you a gun, actually… and hopefully not, but you saw the crowd outside. Fuckin' bigots. At least we haven't seen any Humanis banners just yet…" He turns a bit, looking back over the room. A few recognized faces, but nobody that seems too out of the ordinary. Yet.

"Oh, wonderful," Elisabeth murmurs at Graeme. Her eyes slide toward the door, her frame tensing slightly at the chanting from outside. Christ. She clears her throat and murmurs, "I need to say hello… " She nods a quick greeting toward Jolene and starts making her way that way, putting a light hand on Cardinal's jacket. "Hey," she greets softly, a brief squeeze of his arm. "It's looking a little sketchy out there… you got enough people on to cover this?" She skims the crowd, finally spotting Ygraine and Jaiden, offering both a smile. And the back of JJ's head. Somehow she thought he'd be here. It's the sight of Odessa that makes her freeze for a moment. That dream was altogether too real.

It's an uncomfortable show for some, a few people coming in, seeing the subject matter, going pale, and then heading back out the door where they came, letting the noise of the crowd in. It's a difficult subject - which is why parental guidance was suggested, but even with that warning, a few parents with young children make their way through the displays, talking about what went on. That was really the goal of this - to get people talking, to get them to face what had happened - to not forget or just push the people aside. It's what the survivors are, after all. People. Not just a name.

Jaiden frowns slightly at the sound of the protestors outside. "I wish they knew that it wasn't just evolved in there." The sight of Elisabeth gives him a bit of a thrill - the woman actually came.

"The most visible violence took place on Roosevelt, which 'everyone' knows is inhabited by Evos, so it's got to be Evos to blame, on way or another", Ygraine murmurs. She gives Jaiden another light squeeze, before pulling back and mustering a smile. "You go and say hello to her. There's someone else I want to thank for coming." Her own gaze settles on JJ.

The intent to move on to another picture, or at least away from the one that had caught Devon's attention, dies when he's addressed. He fixes a slight grin to his face, the expression leaning more toward the cold side of things, than particularly happy. It could be passed off for the experience of the exhibit, though. "JJ," he replies easily enough, though. "I'm…" A nod goes toward the pictures and a shrug follows. "You? How've you been?"

"Yeah, go on," Graeme says. For the moment, Graeme simply frowns at the sound of the protesters outside, before making his way past Elisabeth and Cardinal over to the side of the room again, though not too far, to once more drop down and murmur encouragement to the dog. Encouragement which is just as much for his own benefit.

Odessa's gaze grows wide, mascara laden lashes fluttering in surprise as she's brushed off by JJ. She doesn't quite keep her composure, but she doesn't completely lose it, either. What she does is gasp indignantly and let her shoulders rise and fall with a deep breath taken as part of her routine to keep it together. Her lips pull into a pout briefly before she remembers that her moment is in full view, and not just her own.

Single eye of cobalt blue follows JJ's movements. And despite earlier assertions that she's not good with faces from the Dome, Odessa tends to remember people who have leveled firearms against her. Devon Clendaniel is one of those faces committed to memory for that reason. She straightens up to her full height (a rather unimpressive 5'5" in those heels) and draws her shoulders back. Standing taller feels like it gives an advantage of some sort. Odessa is beginning to feel as though she should not have come, however. Rather than flee, she turns to weave through the crowd. Which is when she spies Elisabeth Harrison, and she gasps again, movements halting.

So many familiar faces in a place where she expected none. New York City is a small one after all.

Odessa stares across the gallery at Elisabeth, some confusion and maybe a touch of fear written in her face. After her throat works to swallow down the lump that was beginning to form there, she changes her intent. Rather than disappear into the crowd, Odessa makes her way toward the woman she's seen in a too-real dream.

Jaiden slips through the crowd, murmuring apologies to anyone he passes, on a direct course to Elisabeth in her strappy heel combo. "Hey there, Lizzie…you look great." He leans in to give her a gentle hug, squeezing her, almost lifting her off her feet as he does. He murmurs something into her ear before setting her back down. "So…what do you think? Quite a get together, yeah?"

"Your loss. I do process the mail like a mofo," Jolene says with a smirk. "Lemme know if you need help though, 'kay?" she says more seriously, eyes narrowing as she glances toward the door before moving that way, glancing over her shoulder with a wink. "Maybe I'll go join them." She begins to move that way, darting between the slim space left between two people and grabbing a snack from a waiter's passing tray to nibble on as she goes.

"Good. All healed up. Thought I should come show my support," JJ tells Devon, his pale eyes darting from the photograph over to where Liz is being greeted by Jaiden. "Wanna go give the man of the hour his props? C'mon, Devon." He claps the younger man on the shoulder an begins to move toward the photographer. On the way he sees Ygraine, giving the woman a wide smile, though he tips his head toward Jaiden to indicate his path. Suddenly, his hand is out to shake Jaiden's. "Hey, Mortlock, how are ya? Great show."

"You don't have life insurance," Cardinal points out as she strides towards the door, raising one hand a bit, "I just think you should remember that…"

Sigh. Teenagers. Give them an inch, they swim all over. Okay, maybe she's slightly older than teenaged, but she is one in his book. After doing a brief vocal check with the detail, he starts off along towards Elisabeth - and, by extension, the others - hands folding neatly behind his back.

Another look follows to the photograph as Devon steps after JJ. His gaze lifts to seek out Jaiden, catching by chance and separately Graeme and Ygraine. Both are offered small nods before he addresses the man responsible for the show. "Good job with the pictures, Jaiden," the teenager offers in sincerity. He doesn't hide his disagreement with the public display, but the man does good work.

Elisabeth gets swooped into that hug, her skirt swishing about her, and she returns it with a soft laugh. "It's incredible," she tells Jaiden quietly. "I think I could stand here for hours. You have a good eye." She smiles slightly. "Although I admit that I'm not liking the sound of that crowd." JJ's arrival brings Elisabeth stepping sideways out of the way to let the men shake hands, and then she greets Cardinal's arrival with a quick kiss to the cheek. Her nod of greeting to Devon is last.

At the convergence of people, though, Graeme gets back up, walking to where Jaiden, Elisabeth, and JJ are. There's a bit of a nod to JJ. "Hey there," he greets, leaning to one side and standing at the edge of the gathering of people for the moment. Mainly because he doesn't want poor Odin to get jostled or anything. The dog may be extremely patient, but it's been a rough day and there's no need to make it moreso. There's a glance towards Cardinal as he comes back, and the hand that's mainly hidden by the sweater and the sling gets clenched into a bit of a fist momentarily. But only momentarily.

Jaiden gives JJ's hand a good shake and a smile. "Thank you very much for the compliment. I just was lucky, or unlucky enough to be there, depending on the way you look at it. We thought that it would be a good way to bring awareness to the Survivors support group that's just started. After all, if we can't help our fellow man, we're not much better off than that lot out there, are we?" Sounds like he's rehearsed that line, but it still needs a little work.

Once again, Odessa halts her steps, apprehension writing itself across her features. She could continue forward, and search for answers from Elisabeth. The blonde recognised her, Odessa's sure of it. But she's surrounded now, and by enough people that she doesn't feel entirely comfortable about this plan of action anymore. Especially when she realises why the man in the fedora seems so familiar, putting one and one together to make two.

A couple cautious steps are taken backward before Odessa turns to start toward the door. The chanting of the protesters gives her pause once more. She recalls crossing to the shores of Queens from Roosevelt Island, and being greeted by an angry mob. This time, she isn't wearing her badge in plain sight to be singled out for her affiliation with the Department of Evolved Affairs, but she also can't simply hold out her hand and avert any impending charge. She's left standing at the bubble of what could be considered about to depart, striken with indecision.

With everyone she recognises seemingly converging around Jaiden, Ygraine briefly pauses… then also heads that way, though in her case she sinks into a crouch on the very edge of the group, to set about solemnly introducing herself to Odin. Stroking a dog, it seems, is the sort of thing she's willing to risk her newly-useful hand in attempting.

Cardinal's hand slides up to press against the small of Elisabeth's back as he leans in to return that brief cheek-kiss, sliding away after a moment. "Jaiden," he offers a hand of his own, "Lovely turn-out. No trouble so far, but my people are keeping an eye on things… we should be fine, so long as the crowd doesn't turn into a riot." Or a Humanis hit squad shows up is the unspoken addition unto it. The others get a slight nod, pausing as he notices both Graeme and the familiar dog, adding, "Graeme."

Devon tips his head slightly as well, noting and responding to Elisabeth's nod with one of his own. "Ma'am," is added politely, following the nod. His eyes flick over Cardinal and Jaiden, then to Graeme and Ygraine. Eventually he picks out Odessa and recognition slides into place with a slight narrowing of his eyes.

"Life insurance is for pansies. Or you know, people who have kids and stuff to take care of. I'm neither," Lene says, a bit jovially and loudly given the somber theme of the gallery showing, over her shoulder — turning just in time to plow into Odessa, the blonde's thin shoulder connecting with Jolene's sternum and sending the red head back coughing. "Ohmygawd I'm sorry!"

The FRONTLINE communication officer's brows raise at Jaiden's slightly canned response. "Needs work before any camera crews hit you up, there, man. Newspapers won't pick up the smarm but the broadcasters will. Trust me," JJ warns, and gives a nod to Devon. "This one'll tell ya." The man gives Liz and Cardinal a nod. "Boss. Boss's boyfriend." He hasn't met Cardinal, but it seems safe to assume.

The young man steps back and toward Ygraine, finally, reaching to give her a quick hug, careful of her arm. "Hey." JJ gives a nod toward Graeme, and then glances down at the dog warily.

"Go on," Graeme murmurs. At first, Odin's wary, but there's another murmur of encouragement from Graeme that she's a friend, along with a command to sit, and then the Great Dane is enthusiastically attempting to lick Ygraine's face, and to get as much petting out of it as possible. The leash allows Graeme room to turn, and there's a nod offered to Cardinal. "Hello there," he says to Cardinal, almost uncertain but not quite. There's a much less tense smile offered to JJ.

"I still can't believe you brought that horse in here, Graeme…" Jaiden chuckles, watching Ygraine make friends with the dog that could easily be mistaken for a shetland pony with longer legs than the normal breed, but no, it's just a dog. Once he's done with shaking JJ's hand, his right goes over to give Cardinal's a tight squeeze and a shake. "Thanks, mate. That really means a lot, you liking the show. And keep me informed if anything happens - I'm sure we'll know, but if you hear anything, there's an emergetncy exit in the back that you should be able to get everyone out of." Always prepared, Jaiden is.

The comment about Lizzie being a ma'am? That comes as Jaiden lifts his glass up, and the reaction nearly causes Jaiden to inhale his drink. He coughs, clearing his lungs. "I know it's canned and I know it needs practice. I write down the quotes - I don't make them."

Having laughed at Odin's enthusiasm, affectionately ruffling his ears, Ygraine rises as JJ nears, leaning into the hug - even closing her eyes for a moment as she does so. For some reason, the woman seems to welcome reassurance and affection, and even gently uses her bad arm. "Than you for coming", she murmurs to him. "I'm very grateful."

Ma'am. He called her ma'am! Elisabeth is …. appalled. And Jaiden choking over it draws a Look from the blonde. Christ. She is not a ma'am! She mumbles something under her breath, but keeps her peace because the guys are all congratulating Jaiden. Her eyes skim sideways at the collision at the door, and Liz studies Odessa and Jolene's altercation. Her brows pull together.

The two young women collide and it leaves Odessa stumbling back and grasping at her healing shoulder with tears in her eyes. "Ow!" Her breath comes as a hissed inhale, perhaps masking a curse on the exhale. Even though she's the one in obvious pain, Odessa still looks up at Jolene and asks, "Are you all right?" She releases her grip on her arm and brings her hand up to brush away the rogue tears with the pad of her thumb before they can smear kohl and mascara. For the sake of propriety, she doesn't reach up under the velvet patch to wipe away the moisture from her ruined eye as well.

As he's greeted as 'boss's boyfriend' the faintest of smiles twitches upon Cardinal's expression. "Cardinal," is the name offered, along with a hand towards JJ, "Richard Cardinal. Good to meet you, finally… I haven't met too many of Elisabeth's co-workers so far. You must be on her squad."

Graeme offers Liz a faint smile at all of this. He's having a hard time keeping a straight face with the mode of address used to begin with. The faint smile is then turned to Jaiden. "I wasn't about to leave him at home, not today," Graeme says. "Thanks for pulling the strings to get it that I could bring him." As Odin sits next to Graeme, Graeme reaches to pat the dog on the head, absently.

A shake of his head dismisses the collision from his attention, and Devon turns back to the little group he's found himself in. He catches Liz's expression, and Jaiden's near choking, and a brow ticks up at the both of them.

"No need to thank me. I mean, I was there too," JJ points out to Ygraine. "It's the least I can do — support stuff like this, right?" His attention is then drawn to Cardinal, and he nods, taking the hand and shaking it. "Nice to meet you. I'm Jones. You can call me JJ." His eyes slant follow Liz's in slanting toward the door and the collision there, and he smirks a bit, shaking his head.

The redhead rubs her sternum and nods. "I'm good. I'm so sorry, I wasn't looking where I was going and suddenly you stopped — not that it was your fault, just that I wasn't looking where I was going…" Lene babbles a bit but she's cut off when suddenly the door swings open and something small, glinting in the light, can be seen arcing in, tumbling in the air; the radio seconds too late in Cardinal's ear saying, "Something might be up, watch the d- "

"It's fine. Just an accid-" Instinctively, Odessa's hand snaps out toward the door and the object that comes sailing in. It doesn't stop in mid-arch like she subconsciously expects, however. "Oh, shit. What is that?"

The collision gets Jaiden's attention, the man turning to look just like the rest of the crowd does, attention on Odessa even if he doesn't rightly know who she might be - he'd recognize a beautiful woman with an eyepatch, after all. But when the door opens and something comes in on a lazy arc, Jaiden has just enough time to react. "Bloody hell…" he grumbles as he turns his back to it, making himself as large as he can which is considerable, to block the 'explosion' or 'fragmentation' or 'paint' that may be coming when whatever that is hits the floor.

With JJ pulling away, Ygraine had already decided to take the chance to slip off. Large groups of people, she never copes with too well. And these days, merely leaving home can feel like a challenge. A spell hiding in the kitchen seemed in order, so - after a last ruffle of Odin's ears - she was turning away to skulk off behind the scenes.

Graeme notices the glint, but it's Odin's reaction that's more noticeable. The large dog is suddenly very, very much alert, growling, straining slightly towards the object and the perceived threat, and Graeme's grip on the short leash tightens. "Odin, heel," comes the command. "Odin, heel." Reluctantly, the large dog obeys, though still growling audibly, and Graeme makes his way hastily backwards.

"JJ's going to be helping train Curtis Autumn," Elisabeth tells Cardinal mildly. "He finished his Horizon training, so they'll be tag-teaming on the streets together soon. Watch out girls of Manhattan," she quips mildly. And then Jaiden's pulling that…. whatever the hell it is he's doing behind her. Why is he doing that with his shoulders? "What's-?"

"Get the doors—" A few sharp words into the radio are all that Cardinal gets out in that brief moment, one hand grabbing hold of Elisabeth's arm to pull her back as he drops back from the sudden object tossed within. Hopefully it's not a grenade.

Following the attention back to the door, Devon squints as his eyes catch on whatever it is that's been tossed into the air. Slowly and wordlessly he reaches to his back, under his sweater where fingers wrap around the handle of his handgun. Just as subtly, with eyes fixing on the door, he pulls it to his side while taking steps to move behind something that could prove protective, keeping the firearm pointed floorward and finger resting just above the trigger. And no, he's not paranoid.

The object finally finishes its arc, a few people near its destination scrambling out of the way before it finally lands, thin glass shattering on contact. The pause seems longer than it is — suspense and anxiety as people cower away from the glass shards on the ground — before a rotten and putrid scent fills the gallery.

"It's just a stink bomb," JJ breathes out, though he's already giving Jaiden a look of something like sympathy or apology as he heads to the door. "The cop see who did that?" he growls to Cardinal on the way.

People begin to cover their noses, a few looking ill at the pungent scent of sulfur and other chemicals, but a moment later it begins to dissipate. It's not hard to see the source: a young girl, perhaps 15 and there with her father, is wiggling her fingers like a prestidigitator, and a silvery "wind" can be seen swirling, pulling the noxious smell away from those assembled and up toward a window.

Lene looks wide-eyed at Odessa, and then smiles. "What was it you were trying to do?" she says, all curious Cheshire cat.

Elisabeth doesn't fight the hand that pulls her backward. She is not dressed for catchin' bad guys. The stink bomb explodes and her nose wrinkles at the noxious smell that assaults her her. And then it's gone, and she glances around to note the source of that. A faint nod and a smile is all she has time for before JJ's on the move. "Fuck," she murmurs. "Okay, there's getting to be too many out there. I'm going to call in a team to back them off." It is, after all, martial law out there. And gatherings that are raucous are not tolerated right now. Elisabeth sends Jaiden an apologetic glance and then walks toward the back of the exhibition to make a phone call to the local cop shop, requesting a few officers to handle crowd control for the art show.

"…anyone see who threw that? Fuck. It's just a stink bomb, but it could've been worse," Cardinal mutters into the radio, one hand against his ear as he nods to JJ's question—checking on it as he speaks. His nose wrinkles in a bit of a grimace, and he cranes his neck to look back over his shoulder to the room, calling, "Can we get someone to clean that up? Jesus, some… potpourri spray or something'd be nice too…"

Catching sight of the gun coming into Devon's hand, he frowns, flapping a hand at him in a vague sort of 'put that away!' motion.

Jaiden's smelled worse, but the look of disgust he gives the stink bomb speaks volumes. It's like they couldn't even let an exhibition of photos go past without spewing their anti-evo hatred. It's why he was underground for so long, after all. He nods to Elisabeth as she slips into the back to continue calling in the troops, then turns to look out the door at the protestors, jockeying for position. To the young girl dissipating the scent, Jaiden gives a smile and blows her a kiss, hopefully earning a giggle or so while the cleaning lady deals with the glass and the noxious chemicals…

"C'mon, Odin," Graeme murmurs, latching the fingers of his free hand through the dog's collar. Out of everyone there, after the first whiff, he barely notices the stink bomb to begin with, another little minor annoyance. "Nothing to worry about, calm down." There's a grimace on Graeme's face, though, as he looks outside, and a very clear 'what the fuck are you doing' look for Devon at this point. And then for a moment, Odin actually notices and recognises Cardinal, moving towards him. Graeme frowns, but follows, at least for a few steps, an apologetic smile.

Catching Cardinal's motions, Devon slips the gun away all in the same small motions he'd used to draw it out. Even Graeme's gaze is noticed though only an emotionless slate of a face is returned. Hands freed, he moves off to one side, further away from the main body of the crowd, hands returning to his pockets as though nothing out of the ordinary had happened.

Caught at her game, Odessa drops her hand back down to her side quickly and fixes Jolene with a nervous look. "I… I used to be able to stop time." She isn't sure why she admits it, but it feels good to tell someone honestly. "I meant to stop that thing before it came down." Her nose wrinkles a little at the lingering scent, though it's dissipating quickly thanks to the young girl with her own ability.

What a magical world they live in. Sometimes Odessa is still in awe of it. Her gaze strays for a moment, somewhat bewildered by the sudden excitement before she remembers she was talking to someone. She drags her attention back to Lene and offers a quick and shaky smile.

Ygraine also offers the girl a warmly grateful smile, stirring herself into motion once more as she completes her plan to disappear off behind the scenes. Now, however, she's directing people to clean up out in the main hall, so that a pretence of normality can return as rapidly as possible. Then she'll hide in a corner away from all the scary people and the anger and the fear… but not the memories. Those, sadly, will probably find her just as easily by the fridge as anywhere else.

After bumping shoulders with Lene on his way out, Jones is out the door to try to help restore order, since the cop outside apparently wasn't watchful enough to see who threw the item or to detain them. What started as a night out and a way to support his fellow "survivors" has now become a working night — at least his boss will be working too, so he won't be alone.

"Nice," Lene says, though it isn't with the surprise that such a rare power would usually warrant. "But yeah, sucked, to see that coming and not be able to stop it." She wrinkles her own nose in frustration, before glancing around at the party. Some are starting to head to the door, to peer out warily at the protesters being detained and questioned, while others begin to resume whatever they were doing before the very rude and smelly interruption — looking at photographs, eating and drinking, and chatting.

Just another night in New York City.

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