Part Number 121g Part I


devon4_icon.gif yi-min_icon.gif

Scene Title Part Number 121g, Part I
Synopsis Instructions and batteries not included.
Date August 19, 2019

Praxis ZigguratLibrary Conference Space


One word. It's as innocuous as the way Yi-Min opens her hand to drop a small, very strangely-shaped object into Devon's own. Upon closer inspection, the reason for this instantly becomes evident. It isn't one object, but technically two intertwined: two alligator clips bound around the blade of a set of wire-stripping pliers.

Two fewer items Devon would have to forage for, within the confines of his urban cage.

Strong but hazy afternoon sunlight from a thick-glassed transom window, populated by a fine diffusion of dust motes, slants across Yi-Min's wrist as she retracts her hand again. From beneath the intricate shadow of the bookshelf stretching above her head, she tilts her head to take in a more comprehensive view of her conversational partner in the modest library— a long-disused office, really— in which they are standing.

"You really should consider finding a new hobby, though. I don't know that anybody here will be impressed by your growing scrap collection." So Yi-Min says, but the arch of her eyebrow and the mild knowingness audible in her tone suggests a rather different outcome.

Fingers curl around the contraband without so much as an acknowledgment. Devon remains silent as he draws the tools to him, tucks them into a pocket within his zippered hoodie. “They won't find out,” he counters as his hand, now empty, folds into his arms across his chest.

They won't find out, because he doesn't speak to them. To speak to them would be to admit his babysitters have some sort of control over him.

“If it doesn't work, I'll take up a new hobby.” It's that simple. Devon takes a half step back, leans against the upright shelf so he can cast a look down the corridor.

"There are no meetings scheduled in the rooms down the hall, at least for the next few hours," Yi-Min notes idly, as she notices where he is looking but does not bother moving, herself. "Theoretically, this should mean that you shall remain undisturbed in this room for a time yet."

Theoretically. A chance always exists, naturally, but at least for now it is significantly diminished.

Plenty of time to work on this ‘hobby’ that Devon is keeping so close to his chest.

One would think this room would remain a refuge, but Devon knows better. The doubt to the claim shows when he redirects his attention to Yi-Min. There are watchers everywhere, he's learned in the few weeks since his release. They aren't mentioned in anything more than the dubious glance.

“What would you like,” he asks. It's a quasi-change in subject. Another thing he's learned, everything comes with a cost. “Besides the givens,” that they both keep the exchange quiet, “you don’t seem like someone who'd take a risk for just anyone.”

"Me? Oh, I am just helping you add to your charming little pile of junk." The aforementioned one. One that would surely not, in anybody's right mind, add together to anything constructive. Perish the thought. "Like you, I am bored out of my mind already, being cooped up here until I get to leave. This provides a small entertainment."

This isn't totally the truth, but it isn't totally a lie. On the official side of things, she had little enough to do beyond laying out the groundwork for the task she was being sent to perform out in Providence. Being done with this, she had nothing left to do besides wait to depart. Officially.

Unofficially of course, there were a myriad possibilities open to her here.

"I wish to get to know you, at least a little bit. You are a curiosity here."

“Truer words could never be spoken.” Devon is a curiosity, a glorified laboratory experiment. The culmination of decades old promises, genetic composition, and scientific breakthrough. He'd been reminded of such things countless times before being released. And now…

A look is cast toward the hallway again. It remains empty but old habits are hard to stop. “Let’s take a walk.” It's less of a suggestion, more of an invitation. If she wants to know anything, she'll have to join him.

He waits only a second for an answer before he turns to leave the room. Devon’s demeanor shifts very slightly, his subtle suspicion of being watched fades. He knows there are still eyes and ears everywhere, nearly all he cannot trust at all and some he shouldn't trust very far. But all of that seems to be ignored, at least to the casual observer. “Can't catch me,” he murmurs to himself, a sing-song reminder to no one in particular.

Amused, Yi-Min's gaze follows Devon as he troops stolidly out the doorway for a few lax, silent moments before she actually rouses herself to follow him, tailing his footsteps down the corridor at a modest distance behind him— at first, anyway. Where are you going? her expression asks curiously but does not say aloud.

What a… lovely time of year. To take a walk down Ziggurat Lane.

It's with the softness and restraint of a cat that she finally falls into step beside him after he is already some ways out the door. It does not seem fitting for her to speak first again after this rather strange interlude, so she does not. Intead, she waits for him to do so.

At first, Devon says nothing as he walks along with no apparent destination in mind. The couple of turns he makes seem chosen at random, taken without obvious consideration for what might be around the corner. At one juncture or corridors he finally pauses, hangs on potentially turning to the left or right, then decides to do neither but instead cuts across to take the third option.

Several seconds later, he actually speaks. “I can't guess at what you'd want to know that isn't already common knowledge.” He'd wager to fess that not much about him really is readily available unless one has the right connections. He casts a sidelong look at Yi-Min, wondering if she has those connections.

“Let’s play a game.” His gaze wanders, roaming to the ceiling like perhaps he's including someone above them in the suggestion. Dev looks at Yi-Min again, brows lowered into a partial frown. “I'll tell you three things about myself, and you have to guess which is a lie. I'm originally from New York City, dogs make me very uncomfortable, and I'm here to receive medical treatments.”

Yi-Min can't help but smile to herself inwardly as she follows alongside, recognizing the twists of this 'game' for what it seems to be— a clever method of conversing a bit more surreptitiously in this place where their every move is being watched.

Her brow furrows very slightly into a 'well, let me think about this' expression without a noticeable break in stride. Despite her much shorter legs, she doesn't seem to be having much trouble keeping up with Devon and the seemingly arbitrary path of his jaunt. "You are here to receive medical treatments," she answers in the tone of a lighthearted guess. The heaver, cannier intensity of her gaze says something else, though.

"My turn, I suppose, yes? In your life, the fact that dogs make you uncomfortable is somewhat ironic." Given the name of his employer, at any rate. "You have a good friend sharing the name of an old rock and roll song. You have never pulled a series of pranks on somebody in sunglasses."

“It was just one,” Devon amends casually. Though a sidelong look slants to Yi-Min. Just how much does she know and where could she have found out? His gaze goes cold, hardens for a moment. Is she spying for them? He looks away, head turning and eyes lifting though there's nothing of note on the ceiling. Or anywhere in the hallway for that matter.

“It's not going to be that easy.” His voice is quiet, as if confiding in someone at his other shoulder instead of Yi-Min.

He takes another pair of random-seeming turns, one after the next so that it would appear that he's leading the way back but by a different route. When Yi-Min turns as well, the second time, Devon puts a hand to the wall to stop her. Easy escape is blocked off by his other hand and he leans close to speak in quiet tones. “What do you want with me?”

"Now that I think about it, that song actually made me physically sick at one point in time. But… that was long ago. Since then, we have got along much, much better, I am glad to say. I have sat and had many drinks to its tune." Yi-Min is continuing on as though she hadn't heard Devon at all, in the tone of someone musing about the weather. From her nonchalance, this is well all she could be doing.

But again for that keenness in her eyes, so bright and pointed it feels as though it could bore right through Devon, and the accompanying little wisp of a smile on her face even as Devon blocks her way.

To which she only cocks her head once she has come to a full stop. "For all that, I can't seem to remember some of the lyrics now. What a shame that is, no? Perhaps you can help jog my memory. A line or two, just here or there. And I shall sing it again, once I have gone home."

Home. Far away from here.

New York.

It's movement at the far end of the hall that causes Devon’s demeanor to shift, more than it is the hidden meaning of Yi-Min’s song. One of the nannies assigned to keep him from doing anything at all. He leans in, closing the gap between their heads, his face turned intimately toward hers. It seems to put doubt that any problems exist, at least for a moment.

“The words,” he whispers, nothing sweet about his words hot against the woman’s flesh. “The words, from the number one, are go fuck yourself.”

He can't be serious, but it's indiscernible if he truly feels that way or not. Especially when he steps away from Yi-Min with a two-step and flourish. “Start spreading the news.”

Devon catches Yi-Min’s hand with his and pulls her to spin a circle then follow him in a few simple foot maneuvers while he crows out the lyrics to another well known song about home. “I'm leavin’ t-day! I'm gonna be a part of it, New York, New York.”

With an exhale of a laugh that is surprise as much as it is amusement, Yi-Min allows herself to be drawn into Devon's twirl, finishing the gyration of her own volition with his hand upraised high above her head.

She doesn't quite sing along, but she does join into the steps of his impromptu dance with a lightfooted grace that belies her relative coyness just moments earlier.

When it stops, or rather, once Yi-Min has gotten bored of these motions, she falls still again and lets her arms slacken back to her sides. "I'd drink to that," she says in a normal speaking tone, sounding chipper despite not actually having any alcohol physically on hand right now. A hint of perplexity creeps in when she next asks, "And I will at a point soon, I think. But is that something they even let you have here?" Alcohol.

Devon shoots a look down the corridor, face gone suddenly serious. The transition is almost like a switch, from loudly singing, even dancing, to suspecting the babysitters are nearby.

“There's only one way to find out,” he settles on, conspiratorially. He slides a look over to Yi-Min, practically inviting her into whatever game it is that he's playing. If he is even playing at something. “Let's go.”

Whatever tricks Devon has up his sleeve, Yi-Min seems completely unminding of the prospect of being led around on some kind of merry chase.

If he really was a trained member of Wolfhound, as Lucille had said to her, Yi-Min supposed she could trust him not to try to go anyplace or attempt anything foolish. So, after receiving that look, she lowers her chin in a slight motion of assent that communicates one clear thing: she'll be right behind him.

Lead on.

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