Pink Tie Gala -- Cherry Blossom Festa


barazani_icon.gif byron_icon.gif charity_icon.gif chris_icon.gif delia_icon.gif elisabeth_icon.gif eve3_icon.gif godfrey_icon.gif vf_isabelle_icon.gif bf_kara_icon.gif kaylee_icon.gif klaus_icon.gif nick_icon.gif ollie_icon.gif peyton_icon.gif ff_remi_icon.gif ff_silas_icon.gif tania_icon.gif warren_icon.gif yi-min_icon.gif

Also featuring:

eileen_icon.gif emily_icon.gif waugh_icon.gif zachery_icon.gif

Scene Title Pink Tie Gala — Cherry Blossom Festa
Synopsis The first-ever Pink Tie Gala hosted in Yamagato Park goes off … with numerous hitches.
Date April 1, 2019

There is the promise of high-class food and entertainment at the Yamagato Fellowship Center tonight; pink, white, and black are the colors of the evening. The glow inside the sweeping building has turned the normally-white rippling outer shell of the center into a gradient of purple to pink. Magenta carpet leads outdoors into the main hall, striped with the black outline of cherry blossoms.

The entryway inside the Center is cast in bright, colored lights that create that glow seen from afar, shapes projected onto the walls and ceilings while free-standing lights cast whites and pinks straight above. Music softly pulses from unseen speakers, either with the thrum of background music or whatever live entertainment is currently performing. The auditorium doors are open, signs indicating an open bar is being hosted in that direction.

Two tables close to the entry are guarded on either end by Yamagato Security, bearing the items for the silent auction taking place this evening. For cases where the item is too large, or too numerous for tidy display, cards with descriptions or images are left in their place. A placard behind the tables politely inform that all money donated via the auction will be funding next year's Cherry Blossom Festa, to keep all of its programming primarily free to the public.

After all, this is a charity event.

Yamagato Fellowship Center

April 1, 2019

8:30 pm

A half hour into the party, the 'pink carpet' is alive with camera flashes as guests continue to arrive, those with names or outfits that catch the attention of the media being hailed down for their turn in the spotlight before heading in. A thrum of sounds float outdoors, a predominantly jazzy set of background beats rumbling as ambiance until the first live set starts in the auditorium.

Local faces just barely rival the number of out of town attendees present, many eager to hop headfirst into the resurrection of an event that touted itself as the festivity heralding the start of spring. It's an attempt on the part of many to encourage a return to normal, and to recapture some of the joie de vivre of America past despite the essential loss of the original site of the festivities. It's a new party for a new era.

"Jesus Christ, every time I turn around there's a movie star. Did roaming Hollywood decide to set up camp in New York for the night?" Emily Epstein is handling herself only slightly better than she figured she was, her commentary executed without any open gaping. She's re-wearing the gray gown she wore at the event that happened here last year, not that there's anyone to call her out on it. The silvery-blonde woman standing by her side certainly wouldn't know to.

"I read Ken Watanabe's into theatre these days," the woman says mildly, marking the man in question with a lift of her champagne glass and a vaguely pointed index finger. "But he still might be among those who traveled furthest to be here." She turns to regard the younger woman by her side, lifting her other hand to brush a stray hair from her face. "Come," she decides, and nods in the quiet direction she'd like Emily to follow her in. "Let's chat for a while, Emma."

Dressed in a fitted red cinched at the waist with a darker red ribbon tied in a bow, Kara Prince walks with waves of bundled chiffon stiffly shimmering behind her. The look is simple, almost girlish— unimposing in its entirety and worn with her hair done in a nearly-unadorned bun that captures all but part of wispy, seemingly wind-styled bangs.

It's a look that changes when she comes to a halt, arms folding over the brocade of her torso. Chin lifting, the light catches the silvery lines hanging from her ears and causes them to sparkle. Just by changing how she holds herself, she's transformed into something more akin to understated elegance. Either way suits her, so long as she blends in with the crowd.

The small robin affixed to the top of her bun, feet in the tangle of her hair, almost looks real— but it is so still it couldn't possibly be. Right?

Whatever the case, she stands alone beside one of the spring-themed art pieces adorning the main hall, observing the piece with all the casual interest of someone perfectly content with the company of the art alone.

Black was perhaps not the best choice on Byron Wolf, whose natural palette is borderline icy, but it's a timeless combination regardless — black suit, black slacks, black shirt with a buttoned Mandarin collar, black shoes of glossy leather, and the only splash of colour being a folded ice-pink pocket square. He both fits in and stands out, just a little, cutting a lanky 6'3" shape in nicely tailored garments. A recent haircut has razored his blonde hair close at the back of his neck, the rest of it combed to sit nicely. Lantern jaw clean shaven, just enough that the brassy-blonde grizzle left there for texture seems deliberate rather than a grooming oversight.

Even the usual grim, dark circles around his eyes are diminished in intensity, although the anxiously shifting nature of his stare has not.

Having slid by the gauntlet of photojournalist interested in more recognisable faces, Byron moves at a dawdle with one arm bent to accommodate the woman he enters the party with, her hand nestled in his elbow. Their respective energies might mean that a cursory glance gives more of an impression of a woman taking a reluctant if recently groomed labrador out for a walk.

"How long we got?" he says to Charity Thornton, as he breathes in discomfort, exhales an attempt to relax.

Somewhere near the buffet table, Ollie is busily shovelling as many shrimp into his mouth that he can fit at once. A side eye to Kara is unapologetic for his manners, this is shrimp, damnit, and he hasn't had this delicacy in well over a decade. Even before the war, fancy food like this was just a dream. Squirrel tenders on a stick were usually the hors d'oeuvres served at the fancy galas back home.

He is stuffed like an overcooked sausage into a suit that he's borrowed from Warren for the occasion, the buttons don't seem to go quite right, so the jacket is left open. The vest underneath is buttoned nicely but what one cannot see is the tear in the seam at the back to allow him to move about comfortably. A passing waiter is liberated of two glasses of champagne, one for each hand, the first of which he swallows in one gulp to wash all of the shellfish down.

Entering on Nick's arm, Delia's eyes are wide at not only the decore and the luxury, but the celebrities that are floating around the room. "Oh my god, is that Oprah?" she breathes to her escort, the gifted diamonds on her ears and around her wrist catching the light to give off a brilliant sparkle. They're not Oscars large, but she doesn't look out of place rubbing elbows with the elite of Yamagato or their more famous guests. "I don't even want to know what you paid for a ticket… or if you got Astor to help you find them."

Her dress is a mint colored empire cut, to match the pink cherry blossoms. It trails behind her a few inches, and instead of getting angry when a shoe leaves a print, she blushes furiously and yanks on her partner's arm. "I think I just got stepped on by Kylie Jenner."

Charity hasn’t seen Kylie Jenner. Then again, she’s been distracted by the sound she perceives to follow Byron around wherever he goes. One hand sits featherlight on her companion’s arm; the other holds two fingers against her ear. Onlookers might assume she’s wrestling with the early symptoms of a migraine — or maybe the din of unfamiliar voices and chattering wine glasses is simply too much for her sensitive ears.

“You are so loud,” she confides in Byron, mindful to keep her voice at the threshold of a whisper. “Tick-tock-tick-tock. Of all people, you should know the time.”

The hand at her ear drops to smooth imaginary wrinkles from the long, nude-coloured gown she’s wearing. Its shape is more fashionable than it is functional, but the same can be said of many of the other outfits paraded down the red carpet this evening. Diamonds twinkle at her throat and on wrist, exactly the right amount of flash to give her credibility without making her stand out.

Eileen insisted they maintain a low profile. So far, everyone except sweet Ollie seems to be honouring that request as the robin in Kara’s hair searches the room with its bright obsidian-black eyes.

I see people we know, the Englishwoman’s voice resonates in Kara’s head, and she sounds more like ocean waves tumbling about inside a conch than she does a person. Epstein’s daughter. My brother. Others will be with them. Careful.

Speaking of Eileen’s brother… the literal spy looks more like the spies of the silver screen tonight than he does on his actual job with the CIA, dressed in a tuxedo as he lets Delia grab his arm and whisper about her celebrity spottings. Nick Ruskin has just the right amount of five o’clock shadow to juxtapose nicely with the sharp lines of his suit, the black and white duotone affair bringing out the bright blue of his eyes as the only primary color in his overall appearance.

“Who the fuck is Kylie Jenner?” he asks.


He doesn’t have an opinion on whether or not that was Oprah, but he does have an opinion about the cost of tickets and whether or not Astor needs to help him. “They weren’t that expensive. Jesus, Del, I’m not a substitute teacher making a pittance. We’re not rich but we hardly have to eat ramen and hot pockets for the rest of our lives,” he says with a chuckle. He nods up to Emily when his glance collides with hers, unaware that there are others in the area who know him well. Spies of a different sort than he is.

There is a look of utter boredom on the face of Godfrey Wells, taking another glass of scotch from the bartender. The man gets a salute in thanks before the Englishman straightens from the bar and watches the crowds. Possibly searching for someone or… someones. Maybe he’s just looking to see who might be of interest for the night.

Oh hello there… is that Kylie Jenner?

The sharply-pressed black suit Godfrey was wearing was perfectly tailored for him and was possibly special made for the night. As he turns and the lighting catches it, the highlights almost seem to be a shimmery dark pink. Nearly the same shade as the vest, bowtie, and even his little pocket square.

Dark eyes follow the path of many celebrities — Zac Effron? Yes, please. — Touching upon this person and that. Ollie finally grabs Godfrey’s attention mid-sip from his tumbler. The glass lowers a little and brows tip up. Really? That consideration only lasts the briefest moment before he utters quietly to no one, “They let just about anyone into these things.” To each his own really.

Behind and beyond Emily, a glance cuts clean through the crowd to find Nick’s face — there and gone again, fleet and prickling as a spider’s claws.

The culprit is just one figure among many winding away from the auditorium doors, the bell of a glass set like a gem in the claw of his left hand. Glimmers of steel peek through dark armor plating in place of tendon, bright at the knuckles and through the wrist.

Klaus side-steps through a group huddling in for an arm-length selfie, muddles through an apology in droning German (“Sorry, please excuse me, I do not speak cow,”) and moves on.

He is tall and broad across the shoulders in a suit black over misty pink, looking every inch the part of a lost +1 when he finally draws up to halt beside Kara and her art piece. It’s Kara’s, certainly, because no one else cares to look at it. Even Klaus is sweeping over the crowd instead, after a quick glance down and up over Kara herself — one hundred and eighty degrees her opposite, the champagne in his mechanical talon untouched.

“Hello,” he says. “That is a curious hat.”

There’s a murmur that starts up in the sea of cameras, and the glimmering sparks of camera flash suddenly turns toward the most recent arrival to the gala — a familiar face seemingly come back from the dead, whose death nearly a year ago was reported on international channels. While her predecessor was not nearly as famous as some of the celebrities who have made their way here, the fact that she is seemingly a ghost is a notion that catches on rather quickly itself. Gasps of astonishment and murmurs of recognition draw more attention her way, and for just a moment, the cameras are focused on her.

Soleil Davignon, clothed in a well-tailored light pink dress from the line bearing her family name, steps onto the pink carpet. The dress itself is simple, almost like a tight-fitting men’s dress shirt with alternating stripes of solid fabric and pink lace, buttoned down to mid-thigh, where it flares into an enormous dress bottom, her pale legs bare. Completing the look is a pair of strappy black heels.

The woman pauses, posing for the cameras like someone who has been under the scrutiny of a lens for their entire life — though really, aside from the several years spent living off of a boat, this is like a return to home for Remi. For a long moment, she enjoys the flashes, turning this way and that so the cameras can catch flattering angles. It’s been far too long.

She doesn’t try to dodge the cameras. Sure, SESA told her that she should stick to her cover story — but they never said she couldn’t put herself in the spotlight to promote her and Silas’ new brand. After carefully skimming her options, she approaches a single photojournalist — the one that will, hopefully, get her the most news coverage. To this fortunate soul, the offers forth her cover story; she’s Amelie Laurent, a celebrity impersonator, aspiring actress, and soon to be co-founder of a floating dinner theater. Projected opening by July!

And then, enjoying one last wave of flashing camera lights, ‘Amelie’ slips into the party proper, hands gathering her skirts to keep them from being stepped on by any unwitting partygoer. Her first destination involves obtaining a drink — a quest that brings her right up next to Godfrey. She quietly orders a scotch on the rocks, before turning to allow her gaze to sweep over the party while she waits, a content smile on her face. This is where she belongs.

"Hey," Byron says, the word barely audible past his teeth held together, head bent so that the words are for Charity alone, "we're not here to attract attention."

Plenty of others are doing that for themselves, of course, but that's for the cameras — it's the roaming security guards that are on the prowl for anything that looks like trouble that has Byron's concern. "If I didn't control my ability," he adds, "I'd fall to the centre of the fuckin' earth." So get it together, is the implicit end note, Byron instead straightening his posture.

His attention splits off towards Kara at about the same time as a stranger's shadow is falling across her. He cranes his neck a little in an attempt to catch a read on the situation, such as: are they already made?


Why sure they'd be made, if people couldn't handle a simple observation. Kara wouldn't be the link to fail there.

"And what a curious hand," she says admiringly to her admirer, head turning to regard the man thoughtfully. He himself is a piece of art, part man and part metal. She doesn't immediately have him pinned as security, but there is something about him that kept him in her periphery even before he barreled his way over.

He looks like someone else trying to blend in, perhaps.

"It's a shame you paid so much to be here to look like you're enjoying yourself so little," Kara chastises the stranger beside her with a small but easy smile. It's one that looks at home on her.

Don't look, Ollie, Chris, Charity…

The overhead music shifts, fading into a soft rock beat. The voice that comes through sounds live instead of a recording, those standing near the auditorium doors able to witness as hear the original sound rather than the reproduction of it. The lyrics, to most, are anyone's guess — being as they're in Japanese.

The murmur of the crowd is pleasant, trilled with occasional laughter. There's plenty of mingling and photo-taking occurring, Yamagato Security with their also-pink ties silently and unobtrusively observing from the wings, so to speak.

She isn't exactly sure she's ready for this level of getting out in public. But Raytech and Yamagato do business and being the boss's babymama/girlfriend comes with some amount of glad-handing. So will her new job, Elisabeth is quite certain. So once more into the breach, right? She does feel a hair uneasy — she's not underdressed, the pale champagne-pink gown fits in fine, skimming her slender form attractively. Her blonde hair is caught up in a loose knot, soft curls teasing her neck courtesy of the best stylist in town. It's more that there are so many people, both known and unknown, and it's high profile.

Despite the smiling facade that she's perfected after several years of performing in public, Elisabeth's standing near a wall just watching. Her free hand holds the glass of wine procured from a passing waiter, and she takes a small sip of it while her blue eyes flicker warily over the attendees… and unconsciously notes egress and escape routes because she can't help herself.

That there are celebrities shouldn't surprise the audiokinetic; New York is still New York, after all. And yet somehow it does. "I wasn't expecting so many photographers," she murmurs absently aloud. Amelie has at least done her the kindness of drawing the paparazzi, which at least for the moment means that Elisabeth's own face, a bit less obviously familiar she hopes, is not a focus of anyone's attention.

Paying for a ticket is one option… but Silas, ever the crafty one, prefers to kill two birds with one stone. He can't get away with barbecue for this one… but karaage? That's a classic.

So he'd dusted off his karaage skills and spent most of the afternoon frying up bite-sized karaage chicken strips for the buffet; now, with the buffet stocked and several more trays of chicken waiting under the heat lamps in the kitchen, he's clear to join in on the fun. He's changed out of his kitchen clothes; he'd done his best to pick the snazziest thing he could find for this. A dark plum jacket and pants, a darker maroon undershirt, and a somewhat lighter pink tie; there's a deep green overcoat that goes with it, as well, but there's no need for that in the gala proper.

There are a lot of celebrities around; Silas resolves to avoid talking pop-culture with them if at all possible — too many landmines — but there are some other familiar faces in the crowd, too. He spots Amelie easily enough, of course; it brings a smile to his face to see her basking in the attention. But he also spots another pair of familiar faces in the crowd, and seeing them here only broadens his grin. Even knowing that things probably aren't going to go pear-shaped, it's still immensely reassuring to know that Elisabeth's here… and Richard's no slouch either, come to that. It's always nice knowing that if worst comes to worst, there's people you can trust.

Silas grins to himself; might as well go say hi. He begins working his way towards them through the crowd.

The sudden rise in interest from the photographer's does its job to pull Godfrey’s attention. The sight of Amelie has brows lifting a touch; yet, his expression is mostly unreadable. Casually, the man sips at the scotch, content to people watch. Her progress through the gala is watched and how convenient it is that she showed up at the bar. So much easier to engage in conversation.

Which he does plan to do.

Godfrey puts on his most charming smile as he turns and steps a bit closer. “Hello,” he offers in pleasant tone, setting his glass on the bar next to him. “Those cameras do love you and now I can see why.” Motioning to the bartender to give him another one. It allows him to studying her up close. “You look awfully familiar.”

It doesn’t take much to slip into an event mostly unseen. Kaylee Sumter does just that, with no more effort then a thought placed in reporters minds, squirreling them to the likes of Amelie and other such celebrities. She wasn’t here to be swarmed by press. Mostly, she had wanted an excuse to get out of the house. WIth the buzzing of mental voices around her, Kaylee might be regretting it a little.

It also helps that the telepath didn’t go the fancy dress route. Kaylee went with a simpler outfit that still matched the theme. Her upper half is a suit; with jacket and vest covered in shimmering artistic flowers rendered in pink metallic threads of various shades on the flat black background. The shirt underneath is nothing but lace, with the vest keeping it modest. Even her dense blonde curls are piled up on her head with a few ringlets of hair left to frame her face. This all is paired with a fitted pair of faux leather pants that hug her figure all the way to the ankles; while her feet are clad in a highly polished pair of black high heels.

Keeping to the edge of the crowd, Kaylee is already questioning her decision to come. Her bodyguard, Bob, dressed in a simple tux, senses her mood. “You know… you can change your mind. I’ll happily take you home, boss.”

This only gets a small shake of her head, “No. I’m here. We’ll stay for a bit.” Glancing back, she gives him a smile, a bit forced, but there. “And you can hang back, I’ll be okay.” He doesn’t look convinced or happy with the idea, but Bob does as asked giving her space.

The robin nestled in Kara’s curls remains umoving, pristinely unruffled like an ornate piece of taxidermy. As the official herald of spring, it might take offense to Klaus’ implication it doesn’t belong.

Sumter at your four o’clock, Eileen warns her. Try to keep fifty yards of distance between you. Should tell the others.

It’s a suggestion, not an order; she’s placed all her trust in Kara this evening.

Charity closes her eyes and presses out a slow breath through his nostrils to center herself. When she opens them again, the first thing she sees is Remi’s striking silhouette backlit by the flash of cameras. She squints.

Didn’t Iago explode her?

No matter. A lift of her chin directs Byron in Godfrey’s direction. “That one,” she decides. “He looks easily charmed. Shall we go and say hello?”

Celebrity impersonators aren't Ollie's cup of tea, mostly because this one in particular is not carrying a tray of food. Moving around the buffet, he piles a few of the foodstuffs onto his plate and then turns to scan the crowd, looking for the man that loaned him the suit. Finding Warren is foremost on his mind, they are friends after all.

Lifting a piece of karaage, he bites into it with a loud crunch. His face, for a moment, is expressionless then he begins to chew quite quickly while his eyes take on a watery expression that has only ever been seen on anime kitten. Wheeling back around, he makes a beeline back to the table for a few more pieces. "You tried the fried chicken?" He asks, gently nudging a woman near his side. "It's better than KFC!" Because it is.

"Kim Kardashian?" Delia's eyes are wide as she stares disbelievingly at Nick. "She's the one with the lips? You know… the shooter glass thing?" But she drops it when she spots Zac Effron. Then poor Nick's arm is nearly yanked out of the socket in excitement.

"Best birthday present ever," the redhead whispers in Nick's ear before placing a kiss on his cheek. Scrambling for her clutch, she's dismayed to discover that she forgot her autograph book at home. "Be right back, I need to get a stack of napkins." Nick finds himself alone as Delia snakes through the crowd toward the buffet table.


That's what everyone feels in the general vicinity of Isabelle Wesley-Khan as she casually sips from her glass of whatever liquor is in there. The answer comes shortly after she removes a golden flask from her equally shining golden purse she carries in her hand. Lemon Death is poured generously into her cup before she discreetly screws the top back on and stores it away for later consumption. These people knew how to throw a party, she missed the ladies on the table and bar from Old Lucy's but this would do.

The pyrokinetic wears a gold dress of what appears to be shining, shimmering scales. The dress falls to her shins and the black heels already are making her feet hurt. Brunette hair swept up into a half bun, a few wisps of hair fall into hazel eyes. Namiko who was sick had approved the outfit, Isabelle looked like a dragon for all intents and purposes. The jagged scar that begins
somewhere beneath her dress traveling up her shoulder to the twisted disfigurement on her face. It glows a hot orange, pulsating softly with her pulse. A man she recognizes from work passes by and says something about her husband and the woman waves her hand.

"Shahid is taking care of our daughter, she's caught a cold." When she left the man he was sitting with his chin in his hands watching Nami intently. Isa had promised it wasn't the virus from their home, they were safe. As the man takes his leave Isabelle guzzles down more of her fiery, acid like liquor. Mmmm good.

The arrival of one woman is a low key affair, so lowkey she is trying to sneak in around the side of the pink carpet. Dressed in a soft, deep forest green fabric that has a cut across her stomach and a skirt that trails off behind her. Her raven locks are brushed and swept back over her shoulder, lips painted a dark purple.

The woman flexes her hands and looks down. She popped those negation meds a while ago but she was fine, she was fine. She had time to party. It had been a long time but since her reintroduction to the Safe Zone the woman had wanted to step out, not be inside planning her next moves. There was life to live. The clear, white heels she wears click on the ground as she skirts a reporter who has just wheeled around to speak to her cameraman. Eyes stop as they land on the pale, luckily for the former seer she's wearing an extremely, discreet black mask that covers her eyes to the top of her forehead. Purple lips coughs and dips she dips head in greeting, "Oh greetings!" Adopting a thick accent from… ummm, "Da loo? Where is?"

Offering her hand, "Fannie, oh," taking her hand back in a faux gesture of whatever it is "Fannie" is trying to give off. "I mustn't touch. Offense to you? None! I've got to piss!" Bowing her head the tall woman makes a beeline for the restroom trailing her forest green skirt and the smell of cannabis.

Some people are fashionably late, but that's mostly because they have to do last minute preparations on an entrance. Warren Ray is supposed to act rich to represent a tech company, that's what the PR people tell him! He is a Raytech representative!

So, people hear music, it sounds far off, or perhaps just low at first. But it gets closer and closer, until Warren Ray is immediately spotted wearing a deep purple suit with a pink suit, with a seamless pink synthetic rubber-like material covering his robotic arm, which he uses to wave to people with.

He's moving very smoothly on a golden self-balancing scooter, aka what the kids are calling a hoverboard these days. But it's heavily modified, and once he reaches the media, it suddenly projects a laser-drawn image out in front of it, on the ground. Various PR-approved teasers for Raytech inventions.

But the music suddenly becomes louder, and the press, as well as anyone with ears, can hear a version of Pure Imagination playing. It will suddenly become apparent, upon looking at his purple tophat with a golden, very functional clock in the middle, that he is basically dressed as Willy Wonka, in a very expensively styled suit. "Hello! It's me, Warren Ray, the tech genius who represents Raytech!"

He points with his pink hand, to the projected laser images on the floor flashing in front of him. "Behold, the future!" he announces as the music reaches a crescendo, and the media immediately goes a bit crazy with photos and questions. "No questions! I'm here for finger food!"

Then he finally steps off of his self-balancing scooter and just sort of leaves it there for Raytech handlers to deal with, and enters the gala proper. "Ollie!" he shouts across the room. "Did you find the finger food?!"

It is a rare occasion where Yi-Min, who typically wears ensembles of a practical bent, sees fit to dress herself up like this; but as with anything else in her life it is a thing she prefers to see to properly.

The trim shortness of her hair— down as it always is— contrasts with the long and flowing lines of her attire: a daffodil-yellow chiffon evening gown with a skirt that ripples as she walks. It is a very simple exercise in elegance accentuated by the easy focal point of the pointed glittering earrings she wears, as well as the lush bloom of her lipstick. Her body language conveys the restful grace of someone long accustomed to such occasions, though she has been staying far away on the periphery of any excitement. American celebrities are not a matter she pretends to care about, and the same is true for the outlandishly extravagant appearances that have been taking place.

The little Taiwanese woman’s bare shoulders are at ease as she comes to hover next to Kara and her +1 as silently as a ghost, ostensibly admiring the same piece of artwork. "Don't you look beautiful?" is what she says with quiet but utter straightforwardness, however, a smile of some measured surprise playing about her lips. And then: "Anything special to see tonight?"

Yi-Min isn't asking about the decor.

Having someone show up near her like that and who happen has her brother in the forefront of his mind has Kaylee tensing up, in the background, so does her bodyguard. Bob doesn’t step forward yet, but he watches cautiously. “Is it?” She asks lamely, before glancing at the karaage. “I doubt it’s better then my granny’s though; but I’ll be sure to give it a try.”

Eyes take in this unfamiliar person, noting his suit as well. Kaylee is pondering asking about how he knows her brother when the music starts.

A distinct behind the telepath, Bob’s attention turns as well and the bodyguard lets out a colorful curse in his native language. Shortly after Kaylee turns her attention to Warren’s grand entrance. Eyes widen slightly as she watches the display.

“You want to rethink that retreat?” So focused on her brother, Kaylee’s bodyguard is able to move in closer and ask the question; startling the poor woman. Bob’s hands come up in apology as she stares daggers at him. It doesn’t last long, it wasn’t his fault.

“Don’t tempt me,” Kaylee finally answers under her breath, motioning Bob back while offering Warren a bright - if a bit uneasy - smile. Their last meeting didn’t go too well.

Over by the bar, Godfrey is starting all the people crowding towards the bar. Well, tonight is definitely improving.

“You should see how deftly it opens a jar.“

As great works go, Klaus Fleischer has the look of a sidewinder missile in a suit — sleek, all hard-swept lines engineered for the practical purpose of killing


with the ladies at this party.

His hair is razored down fine behind his ears and up from his nape, fade a little too fashion forward for pure military severity. The armor plating scuted snug beneath the stay of his cuff is robust, curled fingers lacking in the skeletal grace of more pedestrian implements designed for the differently-abled.

But his posture is easy, the crook of his glass-wielding elbow casual away from his side.

“My date has abandoned me for dead,” he says, deadpan lament with a brow tipped sidelong to Kara’s smile. Friendly! She knows how it is.

He has not looked back at her, or at her bird. In defense of his manners: Warren is happening.

“Are you here with anyone?”

"Well nothin's better than Granny cookin'," Ollie agrees. Hearing his name, his face brightens and he turns to spy Warren. "Warren! What the heck are you wearin'?" An assault on his eyes, apparently. Kaylee can clearly hear the thoughts of relief playing through the man's head, thankful and glad that he chose the grey tux with a vest rather than the monstrosity that her brother is wearing.

"I was just talkin' to this lovely lady about the chicken, you gotta try it. Fit for Jesus himself, swear it on a stack of bibles." The shrimp on his plate is finished and the little plate is now full of karaage. Should Silas turn to see it, he may or may not be pleased.

Reaching out and snagging her scotch on the rocks, Remi turns a charming smile to Godfrey as he addresses her, raising the glass in a casual cheers before taking a small sip. She would probably be an alcoholic, if she weren’t so worried about her ability suddenly coming back with no warning. If it ever will come back, that is.

“I just so happen to have a face that looks exactly like a dead celebrity’s,” she replies with a bat of her well-made eyelashes. Her makeup hides the bruise on the side of her face from a run-in with an abusive jerk quite nicely, you wouldn’t even know it was there unless you touched it and saw how sore it was. “So I’m pretty sure that everyone thought they just saw a ghost.” She laughs softly, turning her gaze to sweep over the crowds. Spotting Silas, she raises one hand in greeting.

“I probably look familiar because I look exactly like the late Soleil Davignon, fashionista, ballerina and heiress. In reality, I’m just an aspiring actress who is opening a showboat dinner theater soon.” She raises her eyebrows, looking Godfrey up and down for a moment. “I’m Amelie. Who do I have the honor of speaking to?”

“I thought you said it was Kylie — you know what, never mind,” says Nick with a laugh, expression fond for the redhead at his side, even if he has no idea what she’s talking about half of the time. The CIA agent has dossiers full of information in his head; he has no time for celebutantes, regardless of their lips or glasses. “This isn’t your birthday present,” he protests, finding himself alone as she dodges off to find napkins. He finds himself a drink instead, moving to the bar to order a neat whiskey, then turning to watch the goings on, eyes mildly curious — it’s clear he’s here for Delia’s sake.

Speaking of celebutantes, the former socialite, former page-6 girl Peyton Whitney steps into the event — while this isn’t her element these days, it once was, so she easily poses, one hand on her hip and shoulder angled just so to give her long fame a flattering angle for the photographers. The gown she wears is not one of her usual palette, but instead a glittering halter gown of vibrant “Barbie” pink; her dark hair is up in an Audrey Hepburn-esque updo, revealing the single peacock feather tattoo on the back of her neck.

Izzy's gaze turns slowly in the direction of the entrance and her eyes widen, "Whoa." No matter what dimension, Peyton Whitney never fails to impress. The pyrokinetic takes another swallow of her glass content to lounge where she does, half lidded gaze watching around her. She almost wishes for a cigarette.

“Ah. Yes, the dead woman in the paper,” Godfrey offers a bit too brightly at the morbid subject. “The resemblance is rather uncanny really.” His attention is briefly turned to the arrival of his own refill. “I imagine there are some that get a kink out of such a thing.” He might have had a couple before this conversation. Though he still manages to sound rather polite and conversational… well.. almost…

“Get asked to do many of these big parties since your counterpart kicked off for the pearly gates to sing for the choir invisible?” Sorry… Godfrey had to ask. Oh wait! He should answer her question, too. “Godfrey.” She doesn’t offer a last name, so neither does he.

Over by the food tables… “Warren,” Kaylee offers pleasantly. “I had no idea you were planning to attend, too.” Her tone says she might not have if that was the case… only a little. Ollie isn’t the only one wondering what the heck her brother is wearing. At least they both agree on that.

Bob watches it all go down, but also how curious reporters and photographers closest to them keep suddenly turning away from the spectacle of the Ray family’s more… extravagant member to other targets. No doubt Kaylee will be feeling that in the morning.

Nick hasn't had the chance to finish his first drink before Delia comes running back in a tizzy. "Nicknicknicknick," she breathes, her voice hushed and a little too excited. In her hands she holds a napkin with a scribble in black marker across it. She's trembling.

Closing her eyes, Delia clenches her teeth together before she lets out a little squeak of a voice. "I got Dwyane The Rock Johnson's signature. He's so amazing, Nick, I think I've died and gone to heaven. Nobody was even talking to him! He smiled when I said hello! He has so many teeth."

For her part, Remi doesn’t flinch at the questioning. “Yes, the dead woman in the paper. Got exploded by a landmine, or something.” That lie is a difficult one to say, because she knows exactly what happened to the other version of herself. “I’m sure some people would have a kink about such things, yes. The other day I had a guy confess that he still had a poster of her up on the wall in his bedroom in his parent’s home.” She snorts a bit at that, taking another sip of her drink.

“I haven’t yet, but that could be due to the fact that my existence was rather unknown until…well, now, I suppose.” She turns a glance toward the pink carpet, a smirk on her face. “So I suppose that remains to be seen.” She lifts her glass once more, taking another small swig of the alcohol. “Pleased to meet you, Godfrey. I like the name.” This statement is embellished with a small smile and a raise of her eyebrows.

"And you're so well-armed," Kara points out sympathetically at Klaus's comment of being abandoned. He's not looking regardless, so she doesn't bother pointing out her joke was made regarding his actual arm. If he has an actual reaction, well…

But Yi-Min's comment, unexpected as it is, accompanied by her own appearance, unexpected as it is, draws Kara's attention away from the conversation she had been making. The easy smile she was wearing has vanished, and along with it any breezy quip in reply. Instead, Kara just looks at her for a moment.

When the smaller woman asks if she's seen anything special, she answers, "You," too seriously for it to have been entirely a joke, before she lifts a hand to gesture and adds, "Might want to look that way." Where Kara gestures is near the entry, right where Kaylee, her guard, and Warren are clustered and somehow shielded from media questions.

"Raytech looks like they're doing some sort of demo," she remarks quietly. Yi-Min would have heard about Warren's brush with the settlers of Providence in recent past. "And their COO is even making an appearance. Wonder if they'll be making an announcement this evening?" Her eyes flit to Kaylee in particular, telepath that she is, and that the eyes on the back of her head warned her of. Kara turns her attention back to Yi-Min, her smile returning. "That could be something to watch for." Please watch out for them, in other words. Her glance darts to Ollie's proximity with Warren, and then she looks back to Yi-Min with a shrug, like there's nothing wrong with that.

Definitely not her internal reaction to it.

She remembers Klaus and his question, looking back to him, who's not looking at them. Or if he is, she lost track of it during the moment she was admiring Yi-Min's transformation. "I'm playing DD for a few friends tonight," Kara finally answers, trying to not sound too rueful about it.

"Ollie, this is one of my adorable little sisters!" Warren motions both hands to present Kaylee in all her glory. If he holds any feelings about the previous encounter, he's certainly not showing them. His surface thoughts are about finger foods and a robot capuchin, when he isn't conversing. "You can call her Kaylee."

"As for what I'm wearing!" He swings an arm, and a purple cane suddenly slides from up his sleeve, with a pink jewel on top, which he catches in his hand to suddenly lean on. "I'm supposed to represent Raytech, so I have to use showmanship so that people realize how cool our company is." He looks around, then says very loudly, "Yes, I am working on a revolutionary design! And it scales!"

"See? Running a company is easy." he explains before patting Ollie's shoulder.

Iago and I are in position, Eileen informs both Kara and Yi-Min, taking advantage of their proximity before the moment passes and two of her favourite women glide off in different directions like adjacent ships in the night.

Let me know when you’re ready.

There’s a quiet undercurrent of urgency beneath her words that are not words, but it comes from a steelier place than panic. She’s as confident as she is concerned about the volatile combination of people gathered in the room.

This gala feels like it’s on the cusp of a very bad chemical reaction.

“Yes, well… sometimes I think my mum had a wicked sense of humor.” Godfrey takes a sip from his glass before adding, with a smug little smile, leaning over a little closer. “Always been a bit more of a devil really.”

But a beauty in pink passes by and Godfrey is much like a dog at a squirrel. “Well, hello. Is that the Peyton Whitney?” He straightens to try and see her over the heads of others. “You know. I don’t think I’ve ever really seen her in person. Much more beautiful in the flesh.”

The temptation to draw a hand down her face is strong, but somehow Kaylee manages not too. “It’s easy, cause you’re not really running it, big brother,” she sighs out quietly with a small smile. What could she do really? Resigned, the telepath gives Ollie an apologetic smile. “Nice to meet you, Ollie.”

Luck is with her, however, when Kaylee sees Nick and Delia at the bar. An out! She isn’t about to lose it either, grabbing onto it with both hands like a lifeline. “Well, must mingle. If you boys will excuse me.” Quick like a rabbit, she flees into the crowds… soon after the reports and photographers will start gathering around her flamboyant sibling.

While Isa enjoys her being able to lounge alone alas she wants to try something other than her moonshine and so she walks in an even pace towards the bar, bringing with her the balmy heat that she's emitting. Strides take her in front of Yi-Min on her way but the pyrokinetic doesn't acknowledge her just walks so that she crosses her to get to the bar first and lean into it the gold of her shimmering dress and that soft orange glow on her face almost a beacon though Isa tries to stay understated as she downs the rest of her glass and slides it to the nearest bartender.

"Strongest thing you have," eyebrows pitch upwards at the man known as Godfrey she's seen him around a few times. Isa'll have to get to Peyton soon enough after this drink, to hell with the rules.

At the introduction, Ollie's chest puffs up a little and his smile oozes as much charm as he can muster (after swallowing the mouthful of chicken). "Pleasure's all mine, ma'am," what Kaylee can read loud and clear is… she's a fox. But then she's scooting away and the man in the borrowed suit can only look after her with a bit of longing. "Think I could maybe come courtin' one day?" He says as an aside to his friend, "So… she got all the looks and left you with… the pink suit?"

Then he smiles at Warren; a genuine, friendly smile.

Spotting Kaylee, Delia's arm raises in a wave. She's not shy about calling the other woman over. "Kaylee, hi!" Raising her napkin, she shows off her trophy of the evening. "Dwayne freaking Johnson!! Can you believe it? Here?" She hasn't been this excited in Kaylee's presence since finding that romance novel with her own and Nick's likeness on the cover. Nearly a decade ago.

By this point, Yi-Min is well in the process of taking in the profile of the tall, mechanically-armed stranger who happens to be addressing Kara at the same time, though if she has much of a reaction other than this it doesn't show— aside from a glance that lingers with curiosity on the workings of said appendage. But the more pressing matter is the group of people that Kara had pointed out, and these are the ones that soon receive her smoothly undivided attention from across the hall.

"Don't worry. I'm ready," is her answer, a fittingly simultaneous response to both Kara and Eileen. Her eyes are passive but also highly watchful in their nonchalant way, which how Isa is met as she feels the waft of heat from the passing pyrokinetic.

It is all too easy to see what Eileen means.

Like Kara, her conduct manages to conceal most of whatever she is actually thinking.

"My little sister is taken. But you can be friends!" Warren looks around as cameras start to crowd again, then motions a hand as he starts to walk away. "Come on Ollie! I don't have a good speech to deliver yet. I don't like giving press speeches anyway, PR people always get mad. I think that's what they want, the media wants to know about my monkey!"

He catches Yi-Min in the crowd though, notices her looking his way. "Hey, is she a celebrity?" he wonders, then heads on over.

"Hello! I'm Warren Ray, one of the most intelligent people on Earth! That's my friend Ollie." He suddenly bows, removing his tophat to reveal a small robotic capuchin monkey on his head. It looks around, but seems to be mostly content with clinging to his head.

When he stands upright again, he asks, "Are you a celebrity? What movies are you in?"

He looks over and spots Kara, tilting his head. "Oh, are you her friend? Are you also a celebrity?" If he genuinely doesn't recognize her, or if he's trying to maintain her cover, it's very difficult to tell with him.

Elisabeth turns to spot Silas approaching. There's a kind of relief in her expression. A non-dangerous, familiar face. Someone she doesn't have to fake anything for or come up with a lie for. "Well hey there, you. Nice to see a friendly face." She's not sure she counts 'Amelie' as a friendly face. And she's not got the energy yet in this room chock full of people to say hello to any of the others that she recognizes. The glass of wine in her other hand is being held quite tightly, her knuckles the only real indicator that she's just a hair stressed.

Silas laughs, his grin wide. "Likewise! It's always good to see a friendly face. Especially in a place like this; this party is, uh, really something," he says, his gaze straying to where Warren is playing paparazzi magnet for the moment. He's heard about Warren; the newspapers usually seem to have something to say about him. He'd always gotten an image of the man as a Willy Wonka type, so it's kinda hilarious that Warren seems to be playing exactly that sort of angle tonight. He shakes his head, returning his attention to Elisabeth. "Managed to get a pass to the shindig by catering," he says to her in a low voice. "The karaage bites over there are mine; I'm pretty proud of how they came out! Looks like they've been doing pretty well, too; going a lot faster than I expected." His gaze again shifts towards Warren… or, more specifically, towards Warren's friend, who's carrying around… jesus, that's a lot of chicken. There are more trays in the back under the heat lamps, but he hadn't expected to need them this quickly. Still… it's always a good feeling, knowing that someone is appreciating your work.

He takes a deep breath, glancing back to Lis with an apologetic smile. "Can't talk much, unfortunately; networking calls! Amelie's working the floor, too, but I'll be damned if I don't at least try and lay some groundwork for a deal with The Rock or Oprah." He hesitates… then laughs. "You know… I know that things probably aren't gonna go pear-shaped here. I know that. But it's still reassuring, knowing that there's someone I can count on to keep her head here if they do."

He laughs a bit at that admission, shaking his head. "Anyway. Give Richard my best when he claws his way free, maybe say hi to Aurora for me. And if there's ever anything I can do for ya… just say the word," he says, expression serious for a moment… then the grin is back. "Take care! And give the karaage a try!" he says, considering his next play. Maybe he'll go chat with Warren's friend; anyone who likes his karaage that much is probably worth saying hello to, right?

For once, Chris isn’t in what he’d call his barn clothes. Others might call them that, however they are not barn clothes. He’s acquired a fine shirt and tie for the gala, and while he’s likely to be on the lower end of the dress code he doesn’t stand out like a sore thumb. Even when he wanders in on the late side. He acts like it’s intended to be that way, and it could be true since he’d been in just as the festivities were starting. And now that things are well and truly on their way, he quickly finds himself casually mingling on the fringes of the collected people. Nods and brief pleasantries are exchanged with people he’s never met before, because he isn’t rude or anything.

“Well, him I”ve heard of,” Nick says with a grin, gesturing for Delia to order something for herself from the bar. When Kaylee makes her way to them, he smiles at the telepath, lifting his glass in a quick mock toast to her.

“Kaylee. Good to see you. Hopefully we’ll fare better today than last time we were in the same place,” he says. “In better company too, I hope.”

He’s unaware that at least two of the people whose company they kept ‘last time’ are in the vicinity — one in yet another man’s body, and the other currently chirping away in a possessed bird in Kara’s hair.

He really means Sampson, of course, but isn’t about to say so in Delia’s presence.

“You look lovely tonight,” he tells her, before turning to Delia to kiss her cheek and add, “As do you, but I’ve told you that roughly twenty-seven times, I think, by my count, but you can have number twenty-eight as well.”

Peyton murmurs her low-voiced answers to a reporter or two. As to who she’s wearing, “Valentino,” is offered with no sense of irony from the private school dean, before she turns to look for those she knows.

Yi-Min had witnessed Warren's exaggerated entry into the gala from afar, but she had not expected to be dealing with the subject firsthand. It shows somewhat in the suddenly very appraising nature of her gaze as he approaches them. "…I did not know the Earth was so blessed," she responds civilly enough to the outrageous introduction she is given, raising a brow high when the robotic capuchin is exposed. "But you're mistaken. I'm not a celebrity, so far as I know. Of us all, you're certainly the one who has made the largest impression."

All of this is earnest; it may be construed as humble. And none of it is a lie. But it would take someone more familiar with her, like Eileen or Kara, to detect the sheer amount of droll airiness lurking behind every syllable she says.

Ollie receives a more clearly entertained glance, though whether overt recognition is there is hard to tell.

"You will excuse me. I am in need of a drink." With only a pause to lay a light hand on Kara's forearm, she is off in the direction of the doors, the hem of her dress flowing behind her as she goes.

When Warren first dragged him away from the buffet, Ollie was broken hearted. He was enjoying himself — by being by himself. Small talk was easy with chicken and shrimp and while eating, he didn't have to pretend to be thinking of anything else. But then he was dragged over to see Kara and Yi-Min and the discomfort set in.

"Uh.. hi.. uh.. stranger-s," a finger pops up to his collar to let a little air in and he look anywhere but the woman wearing the bird and the other one that caught Warren's interest. "I'm uhm.. not the monkey. Just a friend." Then he ducks his head down to look at his plate and grabs another little drummette.

His eyes follow after Yi-Min and then a questioning look is passed to Kara. But he says nothing.

Delia smiles and wrinkles her nose as Nick compliments her, again. "You know overkill is a thing," she says wryly, turning toward the bar to finally order herself something. "Just a club soda with a bit of lime, please." Her escort is having a drink, so she might not, in case she needs to drive.

The drink arrives and she takes a sip, then realizes that it is time to gooooo~. "Watch these for a minute?" Is asked for Nick as she places her drink back on the bar and tucks the precious napkin into his pocket. "Don't lose that."

The dead celebrity look alike offers a small laugh to Godfrey’s response to her enjoyment of his name, shaking her head slowly and taking another sip of her drink. “Really now? I love ironic names.” She chuckles, shaking her head. “My name means ‘hard working’, which I suppose is true, but it’s rather boring.”

She raises her glass, watching the ice rattle against the sides before taking a swig. The mention of Peyton Whitney prompts blue eyes to swing the woman’s way — and then, Remi’s doing a double take. That’s Valentine, and she looks…so much different than the woman that Remi knew in her world. She looks like she’s seen better days in this world — something the French woman is silently glad for. “She’s rather beautiful,” Remi remarks, a tiny smile playing at her lips.

As the napkin is thrust at her, the telepath’s interest is pulled to the signature and what Delia is saying. “What? You’re kidding?!? The Rock?” she doesn’t believe it even as she looks at the napkin. “If there was ever a guy I woul—” immediately,she trails off, shocked at her own thoughts. She hasn’t thought about doing that to a guy since well before she met her husband. “Well… never you mind.” Clearing her throat she is a little jealous at the drinks in everyone’s hands.

Despite her brother’s antics, Kaylee mood brightens up around the pair. “Nick, Delia… I am so happy to see you both.” The compliment gets a bit of a shy smile, brushing at the front of the tailored jacket. “Thank’s Nick. You both look amazing…It’s been way too long. Feels like ages and so much has happened.” Unlike them she was flying solo… or as close as she could get with a babysitter.

Behind her Bob’s attention is on her brother, watching him with a disapproving press of lips. Possibly, feeling that his adventures with the telepath were not nearly so bad.

“Hey,” Kaylee turns her attention to Nick, as Delia heads off, voice kept low to keep the conversation close. “Have you… ah… talked to your sister lately?”

Godfrey is totally distracted for the moment, watching the woman in pink talk to the press. “The circles she ran in, I always imagined being a part of those when I was younger. The lovely designer clothing, the fancy parties, the expensive cars…” He angles a knowing smile at Remi. Surely she must understand. “If that woman had been on posters back then…. Well… she would have graced my walls.” Fingers drum along the tumbler in his hands as his focus shifts again. “Maybe I should introduce myself.”

When Yi-Min leaves her, Kara gives her a meaningful if not baleful look to be left in the company she is. It's not an untrue thing at all, but the Taiwanese woman is also escaping to get into position, which is understandable, even desired. As Kara watches her go, her eyes flit across the room, certain figures sticking out to her more than others.

It was as good as they were going to get.

Five… four… The countdown whispering in the back of her head continues to play down as she lifts her hand, deliberately adjusting the sweep of her bangs.

Out of the corner of her eye, she can see the women's bathroom door slam open, a wild-eyed male apparent member of the waitstaff the first to tumble out, followed by the woman (women?) who shoved him. He's covered in powder? Literal powder of some kind.

Well, that was interesting.

three… two…

"Someone's having a bad night," Kara casually observes to the men she finds herself surrounded by, taking what she perceives to be the last moment to look to where Byron and Charity were coupled up, arms linked. Finding the phaser's attention also in the direction of the women's restroom, her brow furrows just slightly.


The overhead lights flicker, drawing the attention of many out in the hall. Heads raise as if they might be able to see what caused the issue. Kara keeps her attention on Byron, who finally looks her way.

The flicker wasn't a part of the plan.

The unsettled hush of the crowd devolves into chuckles as everything appears to be stable. Surely nothing was wrong after all! For just a moment, everyone goes back to what they were doing. It's that moment that sparks tension for Kara, for everyone else from Providence stationed in their number. A flicker? That was a whimper. They were expecting a bang.

The music from the auditorium suddenly cuts, the next sign something may be off.

Then, the lights go out. Not just in the Fellowship Center —

The entire block goes dark.


"So, that's that, right? Easy pease." Kara's probably never said those words before in her life, but she often reaches for strange phrases when she's trying to make a point.

"Where's the fun in that?"


[Fellowship Center]

April 1, 2019

9:17 PM

The darkness the Fellowship Center is plunged into brings the festivities, naturally, to a halt, but the main hall is by no means silent. The hard-to-navigate space cluttered with bodies is alive with small movements, people trying to get their bearings. Security, already on edge from the flicker a moment ago, is moving to secure perimeters and assess for threats. Surely, across Yamagato Park, civil engineers are already springing into action.

So, how long will the power stay out for?

The flicker, the sound of the music faltering. All of it has Isa's eyes slowly raising to the ceiling with a narrowed eye gaze. The woman's hazel eyes take in the crowd and the murmur. Her drink has just arrived when the lights finally go out completely and the pyrokinetic sighs and there's an audible gulping noise as she guzzles her drink. The light from her scar illuminating her face that's in a scowl.

Reaching her hand out and up to the ceiling she closes her eyes a fraction and flicks three fingers into the air. A roar fills the room as jets of bright orange flame shoot out from her fingertips, soaring into the air. The flames stop shooting a few seconds later but the pyro reaches out with her mind, reshaping the lines into three spheres of crackling flame that hover above the crowd.

"I thought this was a fancy place. Where are the backup generators?" Isa grumbles.

"Fannie" is exiting out of the bathroom with her new friends in tow when the lights go out along with the music. "Oh noes!" The dark haired woman feels about her and accidentally presses a hand into the small of Byron's back. "Whoops!"

Unaware of a few sets of eyes on her, Peyton is about to move in the direction of Kaylee, a friendly face she knows, when the lights go out. The socialite-turned-educator gasps in the sudden blackout — she’s in the middle of a busy stretch of room with nothing to grasp, no wall to back up against. And she’s been in enough bad spots in her life to worry this isn’t just coincidence.

The sudden flames coming from Isa has her turning her face that way, the jets reflecting in her dark eyes before they become spheres, and she moves toward the flame, wanting to be closer to the light — and a woman who can set people on fire probably doesn’t hurt, either.

Nick’s already pulled out a lighter from his pocket at the same time Isa illuminates the room with her far brighter glow, and one hand curls around Delia’s waist protectively. He looks around for the Yamagato security team, his brow furrowing into the familiar worried lines it often does. “I should’ve known better’n to trust my luck coming to one of these things again,” he laments — it was a long time ago but the memory of being a living bomb is still a sharp and bitter memory in the unlucky Brit’s life.

Tania steps out of the bathroom into the dark. And there's a small huff from her. "How unfair," she laments softly. Her hand finds a wall, then her shoulder. Then she laughs. It really isn't the situation for it, but she can't help it.

"Jane Bond," she says to her new friend Fannie, "I don't think you need a mask anymore." Which makes her chuckle. "I'm going to find the drinks," she says, with full confidence that this endeavor will be successful even in the dark. She keeps her shoulder against the wall and starts to walk.

The flickering of the lights has Kaylee looking up, but it doesn’t bother her too much. It was the Safe Zone after all and such things were not uncommon. However, this is Yamagato. Brows furrow just in time for the world to go dark. Her breath catches in her throat as she is plunged into darkness.

While darkness surrounds her, the minds around her rise in pitch, making her grimace and hands come up to grip her head. A soft curse hisses through her teeth as she desperately works to strengthen the mental walls. So focused on the process Kaylee is taken by surprise by the sudden flare of light around her.

The flare of light is a blessing for her bodyguard, Bob. It allows him to find his way to Kaylee’s side protectively watching the room as his job requires. Though the occasional concerned glance goes in the direction of his boss.

For his part, Godfrey sounds unphased in the darkness, “I’m all for a good time in the dark, but this isn’t it exactly the type of fun I was thinking.” Knocking back the rest of his drink, somehow he manages to set the glass on the bar and not drop it on the floor.

When the area gets some illumination from the fire, Godfrey looks up in astonishment and then around him finding a vaguely familiar face. He’d have to thank the pyrokinetic later. For now… he suddenly appears at Peyton’s elbow. A hand moving to steady her. “My dear, Miss Whitney, I couldn’t help but notice you look a bit frazzled.” There is some deep concern in that voice, which may or may not be faked. “You alright, my dear?”

"Praxis wants a disruption, so we'll give it to them. But we deserve a bit more than what they're offering."

"Yeah, I was going to say — why bother heading in at all if we're going to set the power off remotely?"

"We're going to do a little more than just shut off the power."

Things that cause panic are one group's dream and another's nightmare. The sudden apparition of flame draws shrieks of alarm from those around Isa, those nearest her trying with vigor to get away from her and crushing into those nearest. In direct response, security is trying to press through the crowd and get to Isa to stop her from — for all they know — trying to set the building on fire with her ability. They're not trying to create more of a panic, but they are obligated to address the threats as they see them.

A flaming woman qualifies. "Stand down!" they order loudly, advancing on her from multiple angles.

True to her suggestion, Yi-Min had initially headed off in the direction of the auditorium, but she soon chooses a slightly divergent path that veers her towards the edge of the silent auction tables instead. It is good timing. She reaches position comfortably ahead of the end of Kara's countdown, descending into furtive action the moment true darkness falls: her target, the blossom-themed Tiffany necklace. As a susurration of general confusion begins, she moves to lift the glimmering item off its casing into her fingertips and secrete it away somewhere on her person in a surreptitious motion.

"We can't carry out the whole table, so we'll just take what's small and be on our way."

"… I have an idea I'd like to propose, actually."

The distraction of Yamagato security storming towards Isa provides blessedly plentiful cover for her next immediate task. Cloaked by the ring of shadows that had been driven into the outer fringes of the hall by the gouts of flame, the woman produces a vial of something from within her bosom, a something which breathes silent fumes as it is uncorked and flung over the most valuable auction item of them all — the donated painting.

Buried beneath the fiery din in the center of the hall, colorless furls of hydrofluoric acid hiss and bubble as they spread through and over the painting in thick snakelike rivulets, eating through glass and canvas alike. As each second ticks by, this once-exquisite piece is looking increasingly less Birds in the Art of Japan and more Hideous Blotches in the Art of Japan.

There is no time for more. Work done, Yi-Min retreats, fading into the nearby auspice of the milling, startled crowd.


“I was told not to smuggle in any weapons.” Explicitly.

Fleischer’s inflection is impossible to decipher beyond how earnest it is in his distraction. Warren Ray approaches, and has a mechanical primate perched on his head — man and monkey taken in and processed in a queer, reflective silence. The same sort of awe zoogoers peer through four inch thick acrylic windows with. There is so much pink. And purple.

And the capuchin…

Late, he registers the exchange between Kara and Yi-Min — and late, he turns his nose to follow the exeunt of the latter, eyes whetted sharp back to the present. He looks to Kara, prying after her gaze.


The lights flicker. The lights go dark. Somehow, still, Klaus plants his glass on the tray of a server passing by. It is empty, when he does.

Evelyn!” his voice rings out over the murmur of the crowd, and the roar of Isabelle’s flame.

Time to go.

Is it?

The server just at Klaus's elbow gives a startled yelp, and Klaus is minimally aware of the young man being abruptly propelled roughly five feet off in a different direction, tray clattering, glass chattering. A flutter of air moves against the air con at that same moment as Evelyn Waugh all of a sudden occupies this space just next Mr Fleischer, having rudely evacuated it to make room.

It's not his fault. It's very dark.

Sporadic flame-light renders everything in hues of queasy shadow and gold, washing out the nuances of Waugh's deep blue suit, the sheen of grey tie. He'd been almost fifty feet away, exchanging anecdotes of East Asian vacations with upper-tier Yamagato executives, after having laid down a generous thousand dollar hike on the painting that is now in the process of melting beneath its glass.

And now he is here, setting a hand on Klaus's shoulder. They don't immediately disappear into thin air. "Just a little theatre, Mr Fleischer," he suggests, watching what he can of the shadows of security guards closing in on the pyrokinetic.

Like most people, that's where attention goes.

Meanwhile, Fannie finds her hand passing through solid back, as if it were never there. To the sound of fine Italian shoes striking the ground, Byron Wolf moves with purpose for the auction items, his body passing through the crush of the crowd with the ease of a cold wind. Or a ghost. He darts a glance towards what movement and chaos he can see but otherwise doesn't stop what he's doing as he nears the stands. There aren't a lot of things he can take that would be of any value to them — he will be shocked if someone doesn't drink this liquor before they can find a fence for it — but he's not here to ask questions.

"So we're adjusting the plan, slightly. Yi-Min will grab the necklace instead, leaving Byron to…"

He's here to be of value. His snags the whiskey bottle around its throat and continues on his way, disappearing out of sight through a wall.

When the lights go out, Warren doesn't move at all. His eyes immediately shift to chromium, and he's taking in his dark surroundings and thinking in the most analytical way possible. Perhaps the pinnacle of human thought! "Monkey, make a note about that woman who ran off! And remind me to save the finger food if this turns out to be a terrorist attack."

The monkey beeps and boops, then audibly makes capuchin noises before it says, "Monkey Memos initiated. Monkey Memos saved. Darkness levels unsafe for human navigation, portable light source suggested. EE EE EE!!!" it shouts for emphasis.

"Thank you Robobo. Alright!" He reaches into his blazer and pulls out a small flashlight he uses for engineering. Its lightsource is very narrow, so he points it around as he tries to get a lay of the land. "The lights, the lights…" He looks up at the lights, shining his flashlight on them, then starts to wander off as he tries to find the light switch. Perhaps he can do some work on it! "Someone take me to the light switches, I have an idea!"

But before anyone can support his idea, his light briefly flashes on Byron's heavingly masculine chest, before he loses the man and instead his light falls on Fannie's heavingly feminine chest. "Oh, hello. I was on my way to solve everyone's problems again. Warren Ray." he offers a human hand to her after handing his flashlight to the monkey.

Robobo beeps and boops because Warren is still holding his hat in the other hand, rather than covering the monkey up again.

Thankfully, Remi is still at the bar when the lights go out. One hand finds the bartop, the other drains her glass and sets it down, and then the woman waits. Isabelle’s flames draw her attention, but for the most part, the woman is quite fine with just leaning heavily against the bar — stumbling around in the dark, in this dress, doesn’t seem to be the best idea.

Instead, she watches everyone else do it, in part to make sure she (or this expensive dress) doesn’t get stepped on — and in part because it’s amusing to watch people freaking out when the best course of action is probably to just stay where they are until everything is back to normal.

Silas lets out a low groan at the power outage. You had to say something, didn't you. You just had to say something. 'Oh I'm sure things won't go pear-shaped this time, ha ha ha!' And then this happens.

Okay, maybe things haven't entirely gone pear-shaped yet, but they certainly seem to be en route. Shit! Getting associated with a ritzy and glamorous gala is good for business; getting associated with a disaster is not. Unfortunately, there's not a lot he's really equipped to do at the moment.

The sudden sight of flames draws his eye, and there's a sudden sinking in his chest… which is perhaps forgivable, given that the last time Silas had seen Isa shrouded in fire had been a bad time for pretty much everyone involved. The shrieking coming from around her doesn't really do much to inspire hopes for a better resolution this time; granted, if she really wanted to do damage there'd be less 'screams of panic' and more 'howls of agony', but it's still not exactly a great move.

All Silas can do at the moment, though, is to try not to get stepped on by anyone. At least not too much.

The man in the waitstaff outfit stumbling out of the women's bathroom is many things— covered in a powder of questionable legality is one, very much not wanting to be here as soon as that fire goes skyward is another. Not technically supposed to be doing this job is a third, and this means he has no qualms about immediately making a break for it when the lights go out, one hand on the wall as he makes for what is his best approximation of the direction of the exit. Zachery is OUTTA HERE. "Excuse me, excuse me, staff, coming through." Only having the use of one eye, with the other socket squarely covered by a bandage, doesn't help.

An attempt to sound stern when saying this is lost beneath the waves of— well, probably cocaine induced mania, little bit. It's not technically his fault. But it sort of is.

The arrival of Godfrey at her side makes Peyton stiffen a little, but the voice and concerned demeanor take a little of the edge off. “Don’t like dark places,” says the woman — understandable, given her kidnapping once upon a time at the hands of HF was big news.

One of her hands keeps a tight hand on her clutch purse, the other at the single pendant diamond at her neck, in case this is simply an old-time heist of jewels and watches like one might see in a black-and-white film. His presence at least gives her something to focus on besides the dark, and it gives Peyton the presence of mind to pull a cell phone from that clutch, turning on the flashlight function.

“Somehow I don’t think this is just a power outage. Does Yamagato even have those?” she asks him, as she continues her path toward Isa — something about the woman’s reaction makes Peyton trust her — or at least think she’s not the cause of the blackout.

There's a moment as the lights flicker where Elisabeth thinks, You gotta be FUCKING kidding me. She might have to hit Silas with a shoe. Then it's full-on darkness and all hell is breaking loose. Grateful that she's back against a wall simply watching for now, the audiokinetic remains in place and fights the panic brought on by full darkness. She's had years — and a lot of practice — to learn how to breathe through this fear, one that never leaves her, and use the adrenaline surge to her advantage instead of freezing. The firelight that rises up over Isabelle is actually a welcome distraction, the flaming 'chandelier' creating just enough light to move by.

Lacing her voice with subsonics meant to calm, a tactic that has served her well during riot situations and crowd control for more than a decade both before and after her years away, Elisabeth speaks up from where she is and lets the sound roll in velvet waves across the crowd. "~Ladies and gentlemen, if you'll remain calm, the power situation is being addressed. Please stay stationary to avoid accidentally knocking anyone down. Security is moving through the room with the help of the wonderful candlelight chandeliers provided by our friendly pyrokinetic to help anyone who needs it. Again, please remain calm and in place while the lights are fixed.~"

Looks like Marcus was right… Elisabeth Harrison is stepping back into the public eye, whether she wants to or not.

Ollie's eyebrows furrow downward as he takes a final bite from his piece of chicken. Unlike the rest, he's not really in a rush to hit it and quit it. This is the fanciest place he's ever been to in his life. Kara receives a glance and then he slinks through the crowd toward security and the pyrokinetic. Elisabeth's announcement is largely ignored, seeing as it isn't meant for people like him, but he pauses anyway having reached the outer radius of one of the flaming globes of light. It's closest to Isabelle.

His hands slip into his pocket and underneath the murmurs and chaos, the rip of fabric can be heard as the lining is torn from the inside. He memorizes the path he needs to take to get to the exit, who is where, and what obstacles lie between himself and his goal.

Delia's arm slips around Nick's waist, reassuring him as much as she is reassured by his presence. "It'll be alright, Nick, it's just the power," she says calmly. Blackouts are a commonplace thing in their world, a little darkness isn't much to get worked up over, in her mind. Though, Kaylee can definitely sense the concern, because Yamagato isn't a part of the rolling brownouts that the residents of the safe zone are so used to.

Her hands slips into Nick's pocket and when her fingers graze the napkin, she's immediately relieved. The treasure is there and right now it's almost as valuable to her as her earrings and bracelet.

When the lights flicker, Chris’ head tips so he can give them a curious look when several of those around him do the same. He’s not sure that was supposed to happen, and for the seconds that they’re steady he cranes his neck around in search of Kara — just for a passing look, some sign that things are still a go. However, the lights go off before he can rightly locate her in the crowd.

He slides backward a step, making sure he’s still on the edges of the gathering while everyone else is quietly panicking. His eyes pick out the various lights that spring up, Isa’s fiery appearance then Nick’s lighter, and others with their cell phones. The shadows that those lights cast make for an uneven appearance throughout. Plenty of places to hide in the shifting light, and plenty of space to move in to create a little chaos.

Following the ebb and flow of darkness, Chris moves into the thickness of gala attendees. Dressed in black as he is, it’s easy to overlook his presence as it never lingers too long in one place. But as he moves he strikes at people from the shadows. A rough shove of that person meant to knock him into another, a sharp elbow sinking into this person’s ribs, but he doesn’t stay long enough to engage in a fight. These are subtle things to rile the patronage up, to draw the security into their midst.

Eileen shouldn’t be surprised that Elisabeth Fucking Harrison is making their lives difficult, and yet—

The robin springs its nest in Kara’s hair with an abrupt clap of its wings and darts up into the dark, seeking out the highest vantage point from which to act.

"Above all else — we get everyone out. We're taking a risk, but it's not a risk losing any of us over."

Isabelle has given her the seedling of an idea, and seeing Liz’s face again for the first time in years brings to the surface a memory belonging to someone else. One that she’s being struggling to repress.

She thinks about the quality and the texture of the Entity’s voice as she focuses on the minds of her captive audience milling about on the floor below.

This world is not safe, she projects, summoning the words from the recesses of her stolen body’s mind. They slither in between ears, a soft susurrus that manifests itself among the thoughts of everyone present. If you assume a black hole goes somewhere, own the moment you set foot sideways…

Warren turns his attention from Fannie when he hears a voice, squinting. Then he looks back at Fannie and says, "I should call my sister, I'm hearing voices again I think. Fuck! I wish it didn't sound so urgent. The world is fine, calm down!" He reaches up to knock the side of his head a few times.

Security, once they've made a positive ID on Isa, are disgruntled but accepting. The light her fire casts off is an overhead source aside from the cellphone flashlights scattering bands of light between bodies and down on the floor. The rush of security and others are enough to jostle the crowd and keep them similarly disgruntled but settled as Liz calls out for calm.

A security officer off her shoulder pauses and furrows his brow at her, though. "Ma'am—" he asks, hand over his earpiece. "Who do you think you're representing, here?" Because Elisabeth is certainly not Yamagato Security. He moves his hand from his ear to gesture to the floating fireballs. "Are you with her?" he asks, only a moment before his earpiece squawks to let him know that the her in question is a known entity.

Speaking of Entities, though…

Standing flush back against the wall, at a distance from where everything's happening with the fire, Emily's hand tightens around her mother's forearm. She'd been assuring her everything would be fine, but that voice overhead — inside her head — disrupts the calm she'd been trying to convey. It sounds too fine, too odd, too familiar, and for a moment she genuinely doesn't know what to do while it's speaking. Her eyes sharpen as its message continues, and even with her limited context, she decides that voice is nowhere she wants to be nearby.

It's a sentiment shared by many at the moment.

Those who aren't startled enough to immediately head for the exits are in short order shoved aside by those that do, and the main hall is a mess of moving bodies. The conversationalist Kara had been speaking to suddenly partners up, and she figures it's a good time to do the same with the nearest person she could call hers.

Except Ollie's nowhere to be found, suddenly.

"Shit," Kara breathes, head whipping this way and that as she searches for him, finding him over toward the floating balls of light. She grabs a fistful of her gown, maneuvering deftly through the crowd to get nearer to him. "Ollie!" she shouts through the din of other people making similar declarations. Theirs were less important than hers, as far as she's concerned. "We're out of here!"

Byron, she won't find. Chris — Kara sees him elbowing his way about and nods at him, shifting a pointed look toward the door. Yi-Min's shorter stature will make her harder to pinpoint, so she keeps her eyes open, but starts moving the way she's encouraged everyone else.

Famous or not, everyone seems to be headed outside in a panic. Security, who's taken note of the missing items from the silent auction display, can only drag the rest of the items and the table itself back and out of the way given the unstable state of the crowd. Information is being conveyed, there's active scanning being done for potential suspects, but there's only so much that can be done right now in the shadows and panicked rush.

The shout is all he needs. Springing forward, Ollie bodychecks one of the guards forward into the back of the pyrokinetic. His arm slips between them and he gives her a rapid double jab with his fingertips into her kindey area in an attempt to puncture her skin with his wolfish claws. His foot swings around, sweeping under those of the security member in order to trip them both to the ground.

Then, the bloodied claws slip into his pockets and he shoulders further into the crowd. Toward the exit. Quills rip through the fabric of his suit and only pull free once they're embedded into the people he passes by. Like Chris, he's creating as much chaos between himself and the door as he can manage. Through pain.

He passes by Delia and Nick on his way, the former crying out in pain as he shoulders past. From the light of the few cell phones, Nick can see long needles sticking out an inch from the redhead's skin all the way up her arm and into her shoulder and neck. The pins are deep and blood blooms at each entry point before small rivulets form, trickling down her skin and to the floor.

She's not the only woman or man left in such a state.

"Ya I work here." Rolling her eyes at the guards before Liz does her thing. There's not much time to even signal at the blonde before even more chaos ensues.

A soft gasp escapes Izzy as the feeling of nails puncturing skin overtakes her and the flames shudder and almost sputter out as she falls spinning on her back and catching the guard. That voice from earlier, unfamiliar. There wasn't time to analyze. Hazel eyes flash as they catch the back of some.. "What.." her veins bulge as blood flows from her body. "…." Grimacing the woman stands and with her standing the flames in the air blaze brightly in response to her anger. To her pain. The one closest to her slams down into the ground in front of her, flames curl around her arms and neck. Hair falling from the proper bun it was holding.

Flames fan out from her body now, surrounding her in a tight circle. Release.. Her own internal voice as her eyes catch in the weak and filtered light, someone running fast with people screaming in his wake. A snap of her fingers and the fireballs in the air expand hounding together into a line. Blazing orange light bearing down on the room as Isa walks with purpose, pain wrecking across her face.

She doesn't know Ollie.

But she's coming for him. As blood seeps out, she runs.

"Fannie" blinks as her hand goes through the man, like her. Except no burning. She would shriek in delight and ask him all sorts of questions but then there's a bright light coming from.. "MortiJackWar!" Slapping his shoulder and ready to greet him before that voice pierces through the veil.

Eve knows that voice and she can't help but think of words she's thought and heard herself recently. She's not ready. She's not in control.

Grabbing Warren's hand tight the pale woman drags him off, "We can't face Mother and Father tonight! I haven't learned my gift!!" Screaming like a banshee with her head cut off the raven haired woman weaves through the ground at some point her shrieks turn to a deep cackling.

The sibilant words are like a spike through her brain as they insinuate themselves into her ears. Elisabeth has heard those words. Literally. The exact same ones. And the cacophony coupled with those words send her into a flashback of that day. She can't help the subaudible thrum of low-level bass that rolls harmlessly beneath the crowd. Several months of therapy mean she's finally coming out of that emotional lockdown she's had in place for a number of years now, which means those emotions react sometimes when she doesn't want them to. The one thing the spike of terror does do, however, is change her mind about the course of action. Instead of enjoining everyone to be still, she simply shifts to a different way of keeping people safe and broadcasts — perhaps a bit more forcefully than she might intend — "~PEOPLE! You know where the doors are. Do not push. Do not run. Please evacuate the room in an orderly fashion so no one gets hurt." Whether it will do a damn thing to keep people from being trampled, she has no idea, but it's all she can do from where she is.

She doesn't realize until that moment that she's dropped the wine glass she was holding. Never mind, it's not important. But she too joins the evacuating throng, trying her hardest to keep it from turning into a frenetic riot of people crushing others during evacuation.

“Depends on the context of the darkness, really. Don’t you think?” Godfrey offers brightly to the woman at his side, maybe to pull her attention off her nerves or just cause… he’s that kind of guy. Following her lead and pulling out his own phone, he adds with sudden suspicion, “But, now that you mention it. I don’t think I have ever seen them have an outage since I started here.” Which doesn't say much since he hasn’t been in town long. She doesn’t need to know that though.

As chaos ensues and the voices filter through his head, Godfrey’s posture straightens. “What in Bloody hell is goin— ” A sharp cry of pain erupts from the Brit as Ollie shoves past him. It’s like his back and shoulders are suddenly on fire, a bloom of spines are left behind by the other man.

Bob is grabbing onto Kaylee as chaos erupts and people start shoving. He sees the spines sticking out of the Delia, just in time to be fortunate enough to block Kaylee from the same fate. He ends up with his own set of quills along his arm. It’s probably good that no one exactly understands what the man says when the pained curse erupts from him. It’s followed shortly by a gruff, “We’re getting out of here.”

“No…” Kaylee hisses out at him, her hands dropping, unaware of her bodyguard’s condition. Her attention is turned inward. “You hear that?” Her head tilts and eyes unfocus. “No… wait.” she stalls Bob with a hand. Almost immediately, she recognizes it for what it is. With a small growl, Kaylee pulls back her power from the walls of her mind, the sound increasing in her head. She welcomes in that roar of sound drowning out the whispers and slingshots it back at whoever was responsible. Even if it doesn’t each them, she shuts them out of her mind, leaving them a mind field of mental sound.

The telepath sways a bit, but the voices are quieted and she can proceed to calm those closest to her. It only takes a small change to turn something from a nightmare into something calming..

The world is safe. Kaylee works on the new memory, slipping it in to replace the one Eileen throws out. It is turned into nonsense zen. If you assume a trip will go somewhere, own the moment you don’t set foot outside… Yeah, she doesn’t get it either, but it shouldn’t be nightmare inducing anymore.

Delia’s pained thoughts interrupt her work only then does she notice the quills sticking out her and her bodyguard. “What the hell is going on?” Hands reach out and touch Delia’s arm. It doesn’t take much to drop the block that turns her throughs away from the pain. It will be odd, but it might keep her from calm for a short time.

The first throb of headache spikes through her head, but those panicking around her will soon start to wonder why they started to panic in the first place. Kaylee might not be able to reach everyone, but she can at least try to help. When the night is done, she’ll have one heavy hangover-like migraine… for a good week or more.

Warren drops his flashlight when Eve grabs his hand, then gets dragged along, putting his hat back on and once again covering Robobo. "You can hear the voice too? Is this what they call a shared delusion?" he wonders, before looking around and hearing the panic, then he hears Kaylee. "Psychics! It's always impossible to tell if the voice is in your head or someone else's. Or maybe… I don't know!"

"By the way, who are you?" he suddenly asks, because Fannie is wearing a mask.

But he doesn't stop following her.

The crawling notes of the shared voice cause Yi-Min's spine to stiffen, less from the alien words themselves than the suspicion of the cost to their source.

But it also presents an opportunity that has repeatedly been seeing extensions. So. Perhaps one last last thing. Yi-Min takes the liberty of driving the spike of her heel directly through the face of Raytech's donation before security forces can enclose the tables, a slim dark phantom slipping away into a darker surge of chaos. Though unbidden, she knows well that the time to leave is now: searching out Kara's recognizable, red-garbed figure in the rest of the crowd, she spots what she believes to be it in the distance and directs her course towards it.

From afar Yi-Min also witnesses Ollie thrusting through passersby in an onslaught of spines, and in the following frame, the live conflagration that pursues him in the form of Isa. There is a sober Taiwanese expletive from her as she absorbs these two linked events, and just as rapidly runs through the possibilities for dealing with them even as she is sliding her own way through the massed throng of people.

The most pressing need is for the sum of their company to get out of here without undue attention.

In an impressively short amount of time, Ollie had become a liability.

Good to know Lis is on top of things, at least, Silas thinks, a grin touching his lips even despite the bedlam… but it's short-lived, as an elbow strikes him a glancing blow in the spine, sending him a half step forward; luckily he manages to recover before he falls on someone. He glares in the direction whoever it was went, but it's hard to pick any one person out in this dim light… but he can still hear the occasional grunt or soft cry of surprise, the odd growl of one party-goer to another, louder than it should be if someone was simply trying to slip through the crowd. It's a swiftly diminishing ripple of agitation in the already agitated crowd, a tiny thing that would be all but unnoticeable… unless you happen to run directly across it, and unless you also happen to have a certain bent for shady business. Boy, sure is dark in here. If someone had a talent for sleight of hand, no telling how many wallets he could get away with, whispers through Silas's mind. He immediately bats that thought back to the depths. Stop it. You're a legitimate businessman now. Dot every i, cross every t, make money hand over fist instead of bothering living hand to mouth.

But… maybe he wasn't the only one with that line of thought. His hand goes to his pocket… but no, his wallet is still there. Am I imagining things? he wonders.

It doesn't take long for an answer to arrive, coming as a thought not his own whispers into his mind. Though Silas has never heard that voice before, makes the hair on the back of Silas's neck stand up… but even if he doesn't recognize the voice, what it's saying is enough to put him on full alert. He's not sure if it's a threat, a message, or something else entirely… but it knows more than Silas likes, and the fact that it's saying things like that sounds like a call-out.

Then the light flares up, and Isa's stalking off after someone, and there's a lot of yelling; he can hear Lis trying to keep order, but it's not working nearly as well. Shit. Get outside first; figure out what you can do later. If anything. He doesn't have his coat, which is a pity… but the jacket he's wearing has pockets, at least. It's a simple matter to snag an item or two from the buffet for possible later use as he makes his own way towards the exit. Like a fork. And a salt shaker. Not the souvenirs he'd hoped to bring home from this little party, but marginally better than being unarmed, at least.

Somewhere amidst the chaos, a little bird has unceremoniously dropped dead. Its remains might be discovered later: bloodied feathers and a grimy smear on the once pristine floor where its body was reduced to mush by the churn of foot traffic.

Charity has fared much better, although she is nowhere to be seen.

A server goes airborne, flame rolls through the darkness over the strobe of scattered phones, and a psychic entity is telling riddles about space.

“There you are.”

Fleischer has held firm beneath the fall of Waugh’s hand, both of his own slightly raised, metal and flesh removed as if from a pyramid of soup cans that came tumbling down all on its own. He has said little to anyone, and touched nothing.

The art fixture that previously captured Kara’s interest is obstacle enough to divert the flow of traffic around them — a boulder in the stream. It allows them to stand unmolested for the long moment Klaus takes to soak in what constitutes ‘a little theater’ for Evelyn Waugh.

The fire flares brighter, sparking glossy off of spilled blood. A strangely compelling voice directs patrons to exit in an orderly manner.

“…Should we offer some assistance?” sounds remarkably like why are we still here?

“The fuck,” mutters Nick when the clumsy oaf plowing into people leaves them with spikes, turning to look at Delia when she cries out. There’s no soft assurances but a growl from the man, and he looks gratefully at Kaylee when she shows up.

Whatever the voice is saying, it doesn’t resonate as a memory for him. “Take care of her,” he tells Kaylee as he tears off in the direction Ollie ran.

Peyton too suddenly finds herself in the company of someone spiked and can’t help but gasp again, this time reaching for Godfrey’s arm to help guide him out of the way. “We just need to get out and then I’m sure there’ll be medics,” she murmurs, frowning as she looks off to wear Isa is flaming mad and following the culprit. “Do you want me to try to pull these out or — that might make it worse,” she says with a frown, guiding him to the periphery of the crowd so he won’t get jostled by the stampede. Her educator mode has kicked in — having someone else to look after helps keep her own terror at bay, and she gives Liz an appreciative glance when the woman tries to calm the masses. “You work here? What do you do?” she asks, maybe to distract him from the pain.

The crowd has become a churn of bodies in the dark, flashes of flashlight knifing through, the pulse and roar of fire. As obscured as the room is, the chaos of movement is palpable as strange voices thrum over head and within heads. Waugh remains perfectly stationary in the flow and press of people pushing their way for exits, his hand briefly tightening on Klaus's shoulder as someone manages to jostle him. The withering look sent in that direction is utterly lost in the shadows.

He turns his head, then, as if he could trace the psychic voices warring in his mind, intent on finding a source but unable to do so, blue eyes reflecting a peculiar gleam when the next run-off illumination caches them. That strange pulse of that American woman's voice seems to sink teeth into his gut, and he is reasonably confident it is taking some kind of effect. Persuasively.

No. He doesn't care for that shit at all.

Evelyn straightens his tie, leans in so he is heard, and says, "We should make ourselves available in the aftermath," as the invisible feelers of his power click into Klaus's solid human form through the hand laying on his shoulder, "to claim my bid, among other things. For now— "

Where once were two tall, well dressed gentlemen with foreign accents stood, there is no longer, with only a silent pulse of energy felt by no one as the crowd soon fills the space they were occupying.

The disembodied voice, regardless of it being inside his head, gives Chris a brief pause to look around. Kara catches his eye and he nods to acknowledge the signal to get out. He shoves a well-dressed woman from behind and sends her stumbling into one of the security staff. Then, while they’re busy, he slips along with the crowd that’s already pressing for the doors. A well placed foot blocks the traffic trying to press past his left side, leaving a tangle of limbs in his wake and an opening for him to slip further into the crowd.

Through all of the chaos, “Amelie” remains perched at the bar, nursing her scotch on the rocks as everyone else loses their minds. This is probably the safest place in here right now — most people are clawing toward the exits, and Remi has no interest in being trampled today — nor does she have any interest in being one of the people getting hurt in their frantic attempts to leave.

However, that voice in her head has the telepath tensed up, eyes wide as she glances around. With a shake of her head, she quickly slips behind the bar, grabbing up the forgotten bottle of scotch on her way. She’ll hide back here until it’s not so dangerous to attempt to leave. It’s safer here, right?

"Ma'am— ma'am, stop!" One of the security guards that had been swarming Isa earlier is more alarmed than before, hands raised as she summons the fire back to her. Their attention had finally gone elsewhere, but it's back again — and she's got a bewildered guard already sprawled on the ground hear her? Short commands are exchanged in Japanese when Isa does not stop, stalking off. Almost as soon as she bursts into a run, a stinging slap of taser darts pelt into her back. They didn't see what hurt her, but they sure as hell aren't about to let her hurt anyone else.

A second, and then a third gun's darts zap against Isa body with the intent of incapacitating her. The quiet injuries of the quills doesn't draw their attention immediately, and save for Nick, Ollie has no immediate pursuers in the dark. It's helped along by the fact there's a cloud of people in Kaylee's immediate vicinity that suddenly stop moving in such a rush, diminishing even more visibly from the lack of spaces between shoulders.

Kara looks behind her when she hears the shouting, catches sight of Ollie long enough for her eyes to widen in a silent, fuming inquiry, before she heads forward again and clears the front doors. She sees Yi-Min in her periphery and waves her closer, only looking back to see what happens next once she's well away from the building.

"Well, that didn't go exactly as hoped," she asides to the Taiwanese woman once she's deemed to be in earshot. Kara looks back to her with a quick knit of her brow. "You all right?" is all she asks before looking back to the crowds, trying to get a headcount on everyone she can. Hopefully, the impromptu Providence Party Evacuation is still underway along with everyone else's.

The pyrokinetic stops and looks down as she feels the surge go through her. Eyes narrow and she grunts dropping to one knee. She doesn't turn her head as the flames die around her. She watches Ollie's back among the wild crowd. Her vision blurs and there's a hint of a smile on her lips as her shoulders sag. Isabelle doesn't fight the guards as they rush over to her, they are burned by whatever flames aren't immediately extinguished. Her head drops in exhaustion and pain, the taser making her subdued as the flames finally collect within her and she kneels there bleeding.

"Nick don't you dare leave me!!" Delia's pained outcry is laced with anger at the thought that he would just take off while she's in this state. Kaylee's efforts dull the sting tremendously but it still makes her sick to her stomach to look at her own arm. It's very good that she can't see her neck.

The quills in her shoulder, where she was struck, are the deepest. The rest are more easily extracted by the redhead with a tug and a grit of her teeth. As she begins, she nods over to Bob and says to Kaylee, "He needs help, his look deeper than mine." Her eyes find Nick and narrow ever so slightly to say that he won't be if he doesn't turn around. He will have to drive, likely to the hospital, because she won't be pulling the ones from her shoulder herself.

Ollie bursts through the door after Kara and Yi-Min, shedding his jacket and vest for easier movement. The claws are also disposed of by simply allowing them to fall from his fingers. Hair and scruff become a shaggy mop and full beard by the time he's caught up to his counterparts.

His breathing is heavy and a little raspy from years of cigars. A single cough releases a mouth full of lung butter that he spits into the grass. "Hoooo-ee, that was a hootenany," he says with a grin to the two women. "Did you try the chicken?"

Godfrey is at this point standing very straight with a very pained look; with the occasional twitch when he moves wrong. “That bloody well hurts!” Still he allows Peyton to guide him out of the crowd and away from having the needles driven any deeper. Once out of the way, a hand tentatively reaches back and finds one of the quills and his fingers come back bloody. Eyes widen at the sight. “Someone has ruined a very expensive suit.” He looks around his irritated, pissed about money down the drain and less about the fact that he currently looks like a pincushion.

Hands go up to stop Peyton’s offer of help and to keep her from trying to touch him. “No! No no. That seems like a very bad idea. Let’s just leave it to the professionals, shall we?.” Which Godfrey had no doubt there will be paramedics showing up soon.

There is an irritated huff, but then he looks down at the woman. His expression changes a bit as he realizes, again, who presence he is in. He clears his throat, “Yes,” he finally answers, “I work here. Only for a few months now at this location.” Peyton is offered a hand, which is a bit awkward considering the spines littering his shoulders and back. “Godfrey Wells, Yamagato Business Liaison. This is not exactly how I thought meeting the famous Peyton Whitney would go.”

Once people have calmed down nearest to them, Kaylee comes back to herself and grimaces. Hands press to her temples. She can only give a tiny nod to Nick before he takes off, following his retreat with some amusement. “I don’t know, Delia. I think it’s charming. Like a knight off to defend the honor of his fair lady. I don’t see Joseph doing that. Not his thing and I don’t expect it of him.” Her attention turns back to her friend, watching her tug out the needles with concern.

“Let’s go,” Comes the gruff voice of Bob behind them, blood turning the arm of his jacket black in the low light. “We are getting out of this insanity.” Even injured, his duty was to get the Raytech COO out of the building and to safety.

“Bob’s right,” Kaylee says even those her eyes roll and she looks amused… though the amusement is laced by pain from the spiking migraine. “You shouldn’t be taking those out yourself and the block I put in your head won’t last forever. If Yamagato doesn’t have people here… I’ll drive you and Bob to the hospital.” She motions the young woman to follow her. “Nick will be fine. I’ve worked alongside him enough to know he is capable.”

Ollie’s pursuer hears the shrill voice when Delia commands him to come back, but Nick is like a dog with a bone, dodging through the masses after Ollie. But the problem with tuxedos is everyone looks the same, especially in near-darkness, and when someone barrels into Nick trying to make his way for the exit, Nick loses sight of the porcupine assailant.

Angrily, Nick shoves the other man who collided with him, but knows his cause is a lost one, and turns back, jaw clenched, blue eyes bright with anger. He doesn’t apologize when he gets back to Delia and Kaylee, but tips his head toward the exit. “Let’s get you to a doctor,” he says gently, giving the telepath a grateful look for looking after her in his stead.

Over by Godfrey, Peyton winces with sympathy for the quilled man, but laughs at his words. “Oh, please. I haven’t had a ‘the’ in front of my name for at least ten years,” she says lightly, glancing around as she looks for medics. “Do you have your own health care here? I assume paramedics will be called,” she asks, voice raising slightly for those who are running the event to overhear. “If not, my car can drive you to the hospital,” she offers.

Tania pulls away from the wall, her phone's flashlight on to help light her path. She sweeps over the people clutching wounds— a reminder of darker times. It really does a number on her buzz, frankly, and she shifts her attention to call the Yamagato Park emergency services. She's sure other people will be calling, and that they probably noticed something went wrong on their own, but she calls anyway. Better that than getting her dress bloody. Or getting in the way.

"I'm just fine." As Yi-Min finally carves out a clean line over to Kara’s location, a brisk appraisal of the other woman's appearance once she gets there tells her that the reverse of the question is more or less true as well. However, there is one conspicuous detail she promptly notes to be missing: the robin that had been sitting in Kara's blonde hair. This absence causes her eyes to narrow slightly, even as she stares with a distinct lack of amusement towards the aggressively offputting signs of Ollie's arrival.

There would be words exchanged later.

She closes her eyes and sighs. But when she opens them again, they are vivid with some amount of concern, and she turns her shoulders more squarely towards Kara.

"And it was going so well, too. The others, have you heard word?"

Kara only shakes her head in reply to Yi-Min, minding Ollie as he comes up looking much different than he'd entered. She has no words for him at the moment, still very much in the mode of extracting all of the Providence members out. She sees Chris at a distance, who makes a gesture that he's going to remain a while longer, and can only shrug. This entire evening has been an exercise in adapting to a changing situation, and if no one is in danger, she sees no reason he can't catch up later. They all know where to rendezvous.

Ambulances arrive faster than expected in the dark, communications not being tied to the infrastructure working well in this scenario in particular. As the troublemakers from Providence fade into the smatterings of people who leave the event entirely, the lights flicker back to life, but normalcy is far from restored to the evening. Inside, the confusion sounding Isa is resolved and she immediately receives medical attention from the arriving paramedics, but the quill-bearing Evolved that injured her is nowhere to be found.

The gala, for all intents and purposes, has ended early — many driven away by unease after the series of bizarre occurrences. Champagne will be brought out again this evening, regardless. Half a world away, this breakdown is already noted, each additional piece of news that comes out being consumed appreciatively.

Event coordinators will spend days trying to figure out what went wrong, what could have possibly caused an event like this — unifying, celebratory and peaceful as it was — to be targeted in such a way.

Quietly and grudgingly, though, Yamagato's people already know.

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