Picture In Picture


barbara_icon.gif scott_icon.gif

Also Featuring:


Scene Title Picture in Picture
Synopsis When Scott Harkness called Barbara Simms back to go over another painting from the Spektor Collection, she discovers that there may be more than what they discovered hiding out there somewhere.
Date October 1, 2010

The Hangar

It's been a long time since Barbara Simms has been in the basement of the Hangar, and in the time that has passed between the discovery of the Spektor Collection she — and few others — have seen anything related to these mysterious paintings. A former attempt at discerning the past of the articles led to the discovery of a man named Redhouse, a sketch artist who drew the future of a tattooed woman at the request of an eye-patch laden woman in a diner out in Manhattan.

Beneath fluorescent lights, a new painting has been unrolled for Barbara to inspect. Catherine Chesterfield and Kaylee Thatcher were supposed to be here today for this, but time has not been kind to the whimsy of the Ferrymen and schedules have conflicted more often than they have overlapped.

Standing beside the table where a mostly red and black painting has been laid out, Scott Harkness looks unconvinced of the authenticity of this particular piece of artwork. A skeletal animal of some kind, eyes glowing crimson, coils of razorwire and a poster reading REGISTER! all seem too comical to be a reality. Lifting up one hand to scrub one hand at his chin, listening to the sounds of Barbara's descent down the creaking wooden stairs.

Her arrival is solitary today, just the postcognitive and her sketchbook in the company of one of the Ferrymen council. This painting, more than any of the others, has such a suspicious content that it was perhaps impossible not to suggest that it be next. If a singular piece of work had to be chosen, this was the first on many people's minds.

That skeletal countenance stares back at Barbara the moment she enters the basement. Red eyes staring vacantly.

Barbara looks rushed, hurried as she enters the basement of The Hanger, almost as if she walked the entire way there, impossible as that might be. espite the hurried steps with which she makes her way down the steps into the basement, as soon as her gaze settles on the painting set up for her to inspect, she comes to a quick stop, just sortof staring for a hard moment.

"I still think that one is a joke," she mutters as she finishes her dscent at half speed, straighting the bag over her shoulder, eyes locked on the skeletal creature until she steps into the room proper, gaze finally wandering over to Scott.

"Hello, Scott," she says with a half smile. "I'm gald you gave me a call. I had… honestly forgotten we were supposed to finish going over these." SHe gives a bit of a shrug as she walks up, hands in her jean pockets. "I've been busy trying to get a few things sorted out." Another glance is given over to the painting set up her expression down turning into a frown. She doesn't make another comment at the painting's expense, but it's clear she's thinking some unflattering things about the biarre painting.

One of Scott's brows lift slowly, his head tilting to the side as he assesses Barbara before a slow and solemn nod is his response. As he's stepping around the table, there's a flash of blue-white light in Scott's hand, followed by a surge of latticework of light that webs over the shape of a coffee mug in one hand that is conjured from the same extra-dimensional space the painting likely came from. Steam twists in a thin tendril from the inside of the mug that has a faded Dilbert comic strip enameled across it.

"I figured as much. Chesterfield's been busy doing actual, honest work and the Ferry has been battening down the hatches for what's coming in November. Everyone's been busy," is his help towrads her excuse, interspersed with a sip from the coffee mug, "I want to find out of this one is real or a piece of garbage."

Coming to stand at the side of the table Barbara is approaching from, Scott lifts one brow and looks askance to the redhead. "You need anything before you do this?"

"I don't see how it can be," Barbara once again remarks, shaking her head. "It could be a personal peice mixed in the rest." Her eyes settle on teh banner that reads"Register". "Maybe. Or it could be metaphorical?" She gives a shrug, looking around. "A chair should be about it. An' the painting itself. I brought my sketchbook and pencils…" She trails off, eyeing the painging again, and after a moment she snickers. "And someone at the ready in case I fall out of my chair again. Perhaps some water." Alright, it's more than she thought, but it can't be that much.

"Right," Scott notes gruffly, holding out his hand as blue and white lights course in a grid through the air, outlining the form of a folding chair that materializes before Barbara's eyes, set down with a clunk of its rubber feet on the concrete, followed by a flash in that now unoccupied hand that forms into the shape of an unopened bottle of water. "You won't fall," Scott adds as an aside, with some small measure of confidence and blaise about the materialization from his own ability.

Nodding to the painting, Scott seems considerate of Barbara's commentary about it. "Anything will be better than nothing. Even if we can't figure out if it's a personal piece, maybe we can figure out who the man who made it is and get some answers from him. Everybody who painted these things can't all be dead." He hopes.

"That is a really handy trick," Barbara notes as she watches Scott materialise the items. "I don't think I ever saw anything like that when I was up in Thompson. It'd be handy, never having to actually carry my drawing materials." She eyes the chair for a moment before taking her seat, letting out a long sigh. "Alright, let's see…" Her bag is set up in front of her, her sketch pad pulled out along with several different pencil shades - she'll only need one, but it's more out of habit than anything else.

Hands are flexed as she leans forward, pulling the unusual painting closer, a hand running down it. "I think I have everything I need now.So… I guess it's just a matter of trying…" She lets out a long exhale, mentally preparing herself as she closes her eyes, focuses. Tries to bring forth any sort of vision she can, hoping she can get something while her hand rests over the sign that says "Register".

Scott's stoicism is the only answer that Barbara receives, his brows furrowed and eyes settled on the redhead as she begins to focus on the painting, watching the movement of her hand over the tattered flyer blowing in the wind that reads Register! His brows furrow, and soon, Barbara can't tell that Scott is looking at her with any discernment at all.

Because the world is melting away…

Apartment of Trev Teasdale

Upper East Side

March 11, 2005

The bedoom's dark behind slitted blinds - white walls and neutral carpeting swathed in otherworldly shades of moonlit blue when Trevor "Trev" Teasdale lists blearily back into awareness.

He's not a tall man. Familiar, perhaps. On the short side, really. Medium in most respects. Brown hair, hazel eyes. The perfect blend of average, or so he was once told. The weatherman Goldilocks chose.

Sometimes, though, they make him wear risers on location and - a sheen of sweat is slicked cold down his neck, soaked deep into aquamarine silk at his collar against a pathetic swallow and shivery cough

pipes all thick with desiccated yuck, like an eel left too long in the sun. Something tips and tumbles out of his hand when he raises it

a paintbrush

and in a sudden seize of motion he slings the full of his weight into shove that topples the drying canvas stretched ahead before tarry red can resolve itself into any kind of detail.

The easel teeters on one leg, starts to rock back and he has to shove it again until rickety legs twist in on themselves and the entire arrangement clatters into a miserable heap. His cat takes off at a streak, black across his path while the room resolves itself around him and he struggles to stifle the panic in his breath, fresh sweat mingling with staler stuff in the judgmental quiet of his apartment when he gives the broken easel a kick for good measure.

And then one more.

It doesn't take him more than a few seconds to trip his way into dragging sheets of the bed to wrap the painting like a corpse, wingtips bumping another work of a man in glasses falling, falling, falling shoved haphazardly under the mattress. It prompts a shuddering double take and then he's on his way to covering his most recent psychotic break - skull and spine and razor wire and teeth.


The Hangar

West Village, Manhattan

October 1, 2010

When reality snaps back, Barbara did indeed not fall, though only by the merit of strong hands on her shoulders, fingers gripping to hold her fast in place while she is slouched limp and lifeless in the chair. Breath is sucked back in and details flash across Barbara's mind. She saw it, in the vision.

Another painting.

For a moment, Barbara seems to simply remain as she is,limp and lifeless, until sudenly she takes a deep gasp for air, almost as if she had forgotten to breathe for duration of her vision. A cough follows, Barbara jolting forward and gripping at the edge of the table in a motion abrupt and quick enough to make even a speedster take a double take. "I-I-I-" she stammers out, eyes wide and darting about the room, looking, searching frantically for her sketch pad, the object snatched up as soon as it is spotted. The book ofpaper is flipped open, sheet after sheet almost violently torn from it as she sets down four, slightly scrutched under her frantic grip. A pencil is grabbed, and quickly she sets to furious work on the first, barely paying attention to anything else around her.

"I saw- a man," she states, quietly, eyes still moving up and down paper rapidly as she draws. "Looked like, um, any other guys, I guess." With quick hand strokes between words, a sketch begins to form - less detailed than the previous effort Scott saw, more rushed, but still complete. The first drawing details a man at an easal, the paintbrush midway to the floor as it falls out of of his hand. "There was another," she states obliquely as she finishes the rough sketch, quickly setting it aside and pulling over another sheet, taking to drawing again.

Short hair, a shallow chin, the man that Barbara begins to sketch out looks decidedly ordinary in appearance. The artist himself humble, but Barbara's capacity for likeness anything but. Scott's brows furrow, dark eyes take down the details and moves his hands away from her shoulders and back straightens, watching the drawing beginning to come to life on paper.

There's a furrow of Scott's brows when Barbara begins to draw the painting of the man falling; receeding hairline, glasses, something about it seems to look familiar to Scott, but he can't place it. "We might need to find that…" Scott murmurs, dark eyes sweeping across Quinn's sketch pad and back over to the painting she had been analyzing.

"What else did you find? Did you see anything that might explain what the hell this is?" There's a motion to the red and black canvas and the skeletal creature staring back.

Four pictures are drawn in quick succession, the first three a progression of what she saw - the paintbrush falling, the toppling of the canvas, and the covering of the paintings. The fourth is, as best as Barbara can replicate, the new painting she viewed of the falling man. She shakes her head at Scotts squestion, pulling back over the first and beginning to filling details as best as she can. "I'm not sure, I…" She closes her eyes trying to think. "Just give me a moment."

Normally patient, Scott is finding that learning the truth in this manner is like trying to drink a thick milkshake thorugh a narrow straw; frustrating and slow. Lifting one hand to run thick fingers thorugh his hair, the old soldier paces away from Barbara's chair, brows furrowed and eyes downturned to the floor, boots clomping with each step away against the concrete floor. There's some silence in Scott, though the gruff grumbling noise he eventually makes in the back of his throat betrays his feelings.

"We should see if anyone recognizes him," Scott offers in a murmur, one hand hanging at the back of his neck, massaging slowly. "Maybe… I don't know. Christ, we don't even know where he's from." There's a look back to the painting, brows furrowed. "Maybe we could check with galleries… someone might recognize his style, his picture…"

Barbara closes her eyes as she fills in a bit of detail on the second picture, and then leans back with a sigh. "I'm sorry," she replies sheepishly, rubbing her eyes with her free hand. "The visions are unpredictable, if they're even clear. At least when I do them like that. When they just come to me…" She lets out a long exhale, slouching bac in her seat, looking rather tired as she reaches out for the water Scott had procured minutes before.

She sighs, rolling her shoulders a bit. "I can always… try again another time. Or keep it with me and see if something comes to me. It's not a perect science, but there's always a chance…" She gives an askance look over to Scott, hoping this might make him feel a bit better about the situation.

"The paintings stay here," Scott insists, "that was Catherine's instructions and I trust her judgment on this. If you want to take it, or any one of the others, around to somewhere else you'll need to check it with her first." There's a tilt of Scott's head towards the picture, then back to Barbara again. "We'll figure it out. See if you can find anyone who has ties in the art field, I'll put my ear to the ground and see what I can dig up Ferry-side… but it's not an avenue we typically traffick in."

Sliding his tongue across his teeth, Scott shakes his head slowly, brows furrowed and eyes narrowed as he considers the skeletal thing staring back at him from the painting. "Whatever that is… whatever it represents," if it is just symbolic, "I don't like what it suggests…"

"I don't like that being in our future."

Barbara rubs her face before sitting forward to peer at the unusual painting, giving a shallow nod as she studies it. "I'll have to ask her, then. I think that's the best way to get any results. ANy that are clearer at least." Her pencil taps idly on her sketchbooks, a frown on her face. "I feel like- there's something I'm missing, but I don't know what it is. The man, he seemed so frantic, or… something like that." She points to her second drawing. "Whatever it was he drew, it had him practically throwing the canvas." A hand runs back through her hair, and slowly she rises to her feet and stretches.

"Whatever it was exactly that he saw, I think he liked it as much as we do."

Nodding a few times in agreement, Scott breathes in deeply, then exhales a sigh. "I think keeping these paintings locked up like we are might be a mistake. We at least need to start getting the pictures out there… letting people we know see them. It was the Institute we were trying to keep the information out of the hands of, not our allies." Making a motion with his chin to Barbara, Scott seems to indicate that she should be off and doing just that with haste.

"Find Chesterfield, even if you just have to call her, see if you can convince her to let the paintings — or even just images — out and around. Circulate." Scott reaches down for the coffee cup he'd left on the table after Barbara started to slouch, picking it up and dismissing it back to his pocket dimension with a whorl of blue-white light. "I know she's busy, but this is important."

There's a furrow of his brows, a narrowing of his eyes, then a look back to the paintings. "I'll see what else I can dig up in the network," he adds, something about the image bothering him too, but nothing Scott can quite put his finger on.

"Keep me informed."

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