Seeking Eden


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Also featuring:

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Scene Title Seeking Eden
Synopsis Thompson takes Rebecca on a magical adventure when her ability is required for an investigation less federal than he claims. Delphine Kuhr's foot steps are traced, slowly but surely.
Date June 15, 2009

NYPD Headquarters

It's approaching the end of the day by the time a silver-haired man is getting out of his car and heading into the NYPD headquarters with as much confidence as the badge he carries would insinuate. Older, if not old by many definitions, but certainly seasoned. No coat is necessary on this warm summer's near-evening, and he's wearing a gunmetal grey suit and formal white shirt, lacking the tie that might have elevated him into severity.

"Agent Thompson". It's not a lie.

He's direct in finding the people he needs, a predetermined meeting over a phonecall ensuring that his presence doesn't quite cause the stir it might, but when he drops the name Rebecca Nakano at the end of his request that goes something like I need your post-cognative and a flash of a smile and a badge, that does raise some eyebrows.

But gets him answers. The trick is to get in and to get out. Thompson has dealt with the police before. And so he shark-lines to where Rebecca Nakano is to be found within the building. Short notice? Probably.

It's highly likely, and even more probable, that one would find Rebecca Nakano sitting at her desk in front of a microscope and a computer doing work in the Forensics Lab of very same NYPD building, and thus that's where Agent Thompson is directed to. He would open the door to the facility and see her black hair just over the monitor as she is typing away at a report of a recent homicide case where she found a few inconsistencies with first glance theories, changing the course of the investigation entirely.

The air inside the lab is disturbed as the door opens and her head peeks up as she spots the agent coming in and she offers a polite. "Is there something I can help you with?" At least now a pair of brown eyes can be seen over the top of the monitor.

The recent destruction of her glasses by her own foot have had her rethinking them entirely and she is currently trying out a pair of contacts.

The door clicks shut behind him, a polite sound. "Absolutely," is the response Rebecca gets as Thompson makes his approach, veering around the desk enough so that the computer the woman is working at doesn't offer an obstacle, although he keeps a polite and professional distance so as not to loom. The half-smile he wears is, in some ways, a permanent feature, and he nods to her. The black briefcase he's holding comes to clasp in both hands in front of him.

"Ms. Nakano? My name is Agent Thompson, I'm from Homeland Security." Blue eyes swivel to glance towards the computer monitor, screen at the correct angle enough for him not to completely see what's on it. "I'm sorry to interrupt your work, but I'm currently leading a federal investigation wherein I was told your expertise would be very useful."

Almost the moment he steps forward, she begins to inspect him, looking for anything physical that might contradict anything he might be saying. The briefcase gets an inspection as does his attire. Yet, the entire time, she offers a cheerful, yet oddly curious smile in his direction. "You won't mind if I ask for some identification? Can't be too careful these days."

Considering a few of the cases she's been on recently she's not going to take any chances. This of course also leads her to query, "And which expertise of mine is it that you are interested in, if I may ask?" Either they are wanting her forensic/investigative stills or they want her to use her ability. It doesn't matter to her, with the exception of the headache side effect, but she'd like to know up front.

The half-smile never changes, never wans or widens, taking her request in his stride. The badge comes out, as legitimate to look at as the summer days are long, holding it out for her inspection and studying her right back. As if, in turn, making sure she matches up with what he knows. An ice-blue stare is somehow not entirely cold, either, nothing really detached about Thompson's demeanor. Just superior.

"Your ability," he says, as forthcoming with his honesty as he is with his identification, and continues with smooth presumptuousness. "I'm hoping it will turn up a lead on a missing person, an Evolved. I can give you the information you'll need on the car ride over."

Removing the slide from her microscope and placing it back into the tray from whence it came, Becca stands and picks up the entire tray and carries it over to the refridgeration unit and slips it inside. She removes her labcoat and sets it on the hook, before grabbing her wallet and keys from a locked drawer, as well as her PDA.

"Where are we going? I need to let someone know where I'm going, just in case there's an issue that arises." In case someone has to come save her ass, she doesn't say, but she inquires so politely that it can't come off as anything more than routine. This Rebecca Nakano has become a bit more cautious in recent weeks.

The question might have sparked more impatience, had she not been moving, too. Thompson's approval for her action-based answer of how high when he asks her to jump is kept to himself, manifesting only in a slight head tilt and patience as she packs up. "You'll be perfectly fine," is what he opts to tell her before he states their destination, and he's headed for the door to open it for her.

"We're going to Staten Island."

She'll be perfectly fine. Guaranteed by someone she just met. This is already turning into an interesting excursion and they haven't even left her office yet. Her PDA is accessed, her whereabouts reported to enough individuals that if she's not back by morning, they'll probably be out looking for a body.. hers.

With that, she's ready to go.

The Rookery

A first time encounter with the Rookery can always be a shocking thing. The vibrant energy of a night time city street where curfew is a laughable notion can catch you off guard, should catch you off guard, and that's only the half of it. It has the air of a ghost town, with stores that have boarded over windows, smashed glass, bars over the entrances and graffiti on the walls. It's the bad end of town when the bad end of town is simply its entirety.

A splash of Vegas, too, in the abundance of neon signage that make up for the dead street lamps in blinding yellows, greens, blues. All of this colour passes over the silver haired "Agent" Thompson, setting his generally steely palette ablaze with colour of stores advertising themselves to be brothels, gambling dens, and bars.

"Just stay close. Keep smiling. Maybe pretend like you don't know English."

Words of advice are distributed casually to the woman at his side as they move down the city street, two determined and only somewhat unfamiliar presences. Thompson's clothes are mostly swathed in a light trenchcoat to stave off the nighttime chill lingering in summer air. "We're not going anywhere nice. Hardly any building down this way ever is. But I've made contact with the people and we shouldn't be disturbed. The place is covered in security cameras but they recycle the tape every couple've nights, and I'll be buying us some privacy. We go in, you view the room, we get out."

Thompson comes to an abrupt halt, and gives Rebecca a twist of a half smile before he's tilting his head across the street to indicate their destination. It's a building of even brighter lights than its neighbours, pouring from its sign of cursive print and spilling out from windows where scantily clad women ghost by, flashes of flesh and glitter, enticing to those into that sort of thing.

It advertises itself as the Happy Dagger.

Armed with only a mirror, which is tucked away into the recesses of her purse, Rebecca's plan from the moments he uttered 'Staten Island' was to stay close. And thus she does. If they were any closer, they'd have to be engaged in her corner of the world.

The question that nags at her is to ask what it is they are looking for. That question, however, never comes out of her mouth because what she never wants is to somehow influence the outcome of an investigation. However, the goosepimples along her skin as she walks the dangerous unholy ground of Staten Island cause her to ask anyway. "What is it you are trying to find out here? What happened?"

"I'm pursuing a lead on a woman reported missing as of January," Thompson states. "Her name is Delphine Kuhr, and we have reason to suspect that the people she's currently associating with require further investigation." His smile widens, and there's a shrug in his voice if not his posture when he adds, "I'm not at liberty to share the details, but I need to get an idea of the people she's been in contact with."

He looks towards the brothel across the street, the gold and pink lights managing to beam themselves across the street, enough to catch his eyes. "This was her last place of employment. I'll show you a picture of Kuhr once we're inside. Unfortunately— " His smile takes on some humour. "That requires going inside."

Well, now.

Good thing it's dark outside at least to keep the blush that creeps into Rebecca's face at least somewhat masked. Hopefully, she'll be able to focus and not see anything that would scar her for life. Or at least for the next 24 hours. But, being the professional that she is:

"Very well. Lead the way." In other words, he goes first.

There's no real sympathy in Thompson's expression, a quick analytical study before he gives her a nod. Good. And across the road they go, no real cars to watch out for - there's a surprising lack of automobile traffic down this end, mostly all pedestrian, and so he doesn't look both ways as he strides across the asphalt road, Rebecca in tow. "This would go easier if you don't have a problem holding hands," is the final piece of advice before they're both consumed by neon light.

In and out. He flashes ID for the two bouncers, and his whole demeanor seems to change - his conversation skills ever smoother, as slick as any man who comes down this way either for a living or a good time. Rebecca, however— they don't ask for her identification, possibly because Thompson is talking a little too fast—

And then offering out his hand for her to take, with a look that almost dares her to have a problem with it. One grey eyebrow raises. After that, it's further down the rabbit hole.

Smoother is better right? No problem here, as her smaller hand slips into his offered one. Other than theh and being somewhat cool, there's no other indication that she might enjoy holding hands with the agent. The hand remains lifeless otherwise where it sits in his grip.

Her dark eyes lift and move from bouncer to bouncer as she and her escort slip past them and into the building without incident.

Her other hand moves up to tuck some hair behind her ear as they walk inward, her eyes flickering about from point to point as she instinctively begins to inspect the area for anything that might be out of place. A puzzle piece out of place, or missing altogether.

Certainly, enjoyment is not required. Thompson's clasp on her hand is firm and without affection - it's simply a signal, one that translates to the security guards, both discreet and overt, that give them both a once over inspection as they pass by. In here, it changes the context of things - the agent's suit transforms from professional through to evening under the glare of neon and reflection, his demeanor of lawman shed somewhere along the way in favour of a raw charm that a lot of the men in here, the ones on the opposite side of the spectrum, often require.

That might not be a lie either. We all have our histories.

There is a strip club atmosphere to the initial room when they head through the corridor, lit up little stages, dancing women, and harem colours and decoration. No need to linger, the pair slide their way through the thin crowd of girls and prospective johns. If there's anything out of place, it's hard to tell. If there's anything suspect— well, where do you start?

They move up a spiraling staircase, bathed in red light, into the hallways of the upper levels, and now it's certainly a brothel, the perfumed corridors filled with more shadows than true light. Rebecca gets as many leers and winks as Thompson does, it seems, but finally— finally they get to a door, one with the numbers 12 nailed onto the wood, and a small plaque simply reading: Eden.

Additionally, there's a red plastic tag on the door, the letters RESERVED running down it in black, and Thompson removes it as he lets go of Rebecca's hand. "After you."

Inside, there's a lavish bed of green and blue silk; and there's even a couple of mirrors. Granted, one is hovering above the bed at an undeniably skeezy angle, and the other is a modest, circular deal on top of a dresser. Low lamps are already switched on, and though there's a camera in the corner of the room— no red glow appears to be on. Such a courtesy must have cost a pretty penny.

Thompson lays out his briefcase on the end of the bed, flips it open and extracts a couple of photographs of shining quality. A clear portrait of a woman in her later twenties, with long, curling brown hair and tan skin, her smile wide and her face lacking overt amounts of makeup. The other is a more candid shot, the same woman only a little older, walking down the street with a young man at her side. "She went by 'Delfi', and used this room," he states, offers out the photographs to Rebecca. "How much control you have over what you can do?"

After you? Isn't that phrase on the list of Famous Last Words? "I have some control. If I know I'm not in the right location I can move forwards and backwards in time. I can only see things that happen inside this room, perhaps into the hallway if the door is open in the vision. My viewpoint of history is from where I stand holding the mirror, if that makes any sense to you. And while I can go forwards and backwards, I can't do both and I can't stop time in the vision."

Rebecca steps into the room and sets her purse down on nearby table. She doesn't pull out her mirror yet, as she likes to get a good look at where things are before she attempts to go back. Since it's plainly obvious what this room was used for, her first glance goes to the bed.

Glancing at the picture, she points to the man next to her subject. "And this man is..?" she asks before moving on.

Thompson moves for the wall, leaning against it with his arms coming into a casual fold. He's done his part, and now it's her show, so he stays out of the way, patient and watchful. Without looking at the photograph, he answers, "That would be her brother. If you see him, then that would be more good fortune than I'd count on. For now— try to find anything that might appear to be out of the norm."

He doesn't both expanding on what is the norm, just adds, "Anything that looks like a conversation or a meeting, or intimidation. If you need an idea on how far back to look, try as far as January."

The norm, he says. She's already started to get her mind to think January as she pulls a chair towards the wall. She aims the chair towards the wall, giving her really only enough room that she could put her legs between the chair and the wall and still have some freedom to move. Rebecca walks over and reaches for her purse, pulling it out and moving to sit in the chair.

As she lifts the mirror and her eyes make contact, she doesn't find that pull that she normally does when she has an emotional interest in finding what she seeks. She actually has to concentrate — partially because it's mostly unknown what she seeks, and there's a part of her that is rather worries about what it is she'll find.

She glances up at the agent's reflection but his imagine in the mirror only lasts a few moments when she sees him disappear. Starting in January isn't exactly something she can pinpoint, but she feels she's very close and begins to 'fast forward' the feed that only she can see looking for something that perhaps would be out character, plus she can zoom by any less savory scenes that may have occured in this room.

At least January means she only has to sift through one girl's exploits, as much time as it is. Delphine's existence, in the zooming spectacle in Rebecca's mirror, is everything this room can expect. The men change not quite as often as the outfits do, sequins and lace and silk that seems too young and too vibrant for the woman who could be a mother, and during the days seem to be taken up by sleeping, eating and general absence.

Nothing, nothing, nothing relevant, and certainly things Rebecca might desire to unsee if she could.

Thompson is a quiet and patient presence, apparently willing to wait for however long it takes for Rebecca to catch something noticeable, striking blue eyes drilling a look into the back of the investigator's head. He says nothing, just leans against the wall, and waits.

Then, finally, something unusual, at least for this setting. No embrace, no tangle on the bed, no Delphine along and combing out her hair by the dresser. In the scene Rebecca pauses upon, Delphine is wrapped in a silken robe and sits on the edge of her bed, a man a few feet from her and wearing a business suit, not so unlike the one Thompson is wearing. A serious conversation, and the man squats down enough so as to level his gaze up at her, his jaw unshaven and hair light. There's a cigarette in his hand, making a hazy halo of smoke around him as he speaks.

She doesn't speak. She never does. Her reactions to events that flash by her might change, but she never removes her eyes from the mirror. The blush that creeps to her cheeks when she sees something she would consider to be a private moment. Rebecca can be seen shifting the mirror around to get a view of a different portion of the room, or perhaps deciding not to watch the entire tryst that plays out before her.

But when the man appears, her attention would be fully focused. She would be able to hear anything he might say, she might say provided they are spoken loud enough that she could hear them if she were sitting in exactly the same place with them in the room.

"…understand why you came here," is about where Rebecca tunes into, the man's voice English in accent, graveled from years of cigarette smoking and whiskey drinking, or some other harsh spirit that might suit his grizzled appearance.

Delphine's expression is one confusion around wariness, watching the man with all the suspicion in the world. "I came here to hide. Mr. Logan said I'd be protected here, so long as I worked," she murmurs, her accent lilting, Belfast in origin. "Is he sendin' me away or somethin'?"

The man shakes his head. He's in his later years, crow feet lines at his eyes. "John and I have decided that your ability might be better suited for my business," he states, plainly. "Healing. I have a lot of people who would be grateful to have you around, Delphine."

"No." The woman's voice is harsh, getting to her feet. "No, I said I came here to hide and avoid people like you, Mr. Muldoon. Y'can tell John that our deal is off if he's gonna be sellin' me to the highest bidder— "

"He already does." The man, presumably Muldoon, gets to his feet as well, calmly straightening his clothes and taking a final drag of his cigarette. "To be frank. We'll be in contact, Delphine." And with that, the man makes for the door, the woman hesitating before following him, long hair trailing behind her in the rush it takes to get to the door, which rudely clicks shut in front of her. Instantly, her hand goes for the handle and jostles it, finding it, predictably, locked, and Delphine slams the side of her fist against the surface of the door.

Fast forward through sleep, pacing, changes of clothing, and next when the door opens, Rebecca gets to witness the struggle as security guards, much like the ones they had passed on the way to the room, go to haul the woman out, who fights fiercely but is inevitably dragged away.

The door closes, the gunshot sound of it being kicked shut a few months ago heard only by Rebecca.

It jars her out of her trance as she jerks with a start breaking the connection with the mirror. She flips it over to avoid another vision, though her personal connection with this particular case isn't strong enough to warrant one. The headache starts almost immediately. The insistent pounding of a migraine that threatens to burst her brain. "Logan. Muldoon. John. Taken by security guards." For the moment, that is all she can manage to offer.

Eyelids lowered, Rebecca reaches for her purse, her pills and takes them, crunching down the bitter taste she's becoming used to. "She's a healer. They wanted her for healing." She doesn't move to stand, as that has proved to be a failure on all levels on previous attempts. So she remains seated at least until the vertigo passes.

Thompson takes his weight off the wall as soon as Rebecca flips around her mirror, rounding around in a deceptively lazy stroll so that he might materialise within her periphery, watching her all the while as he comes to lean against the wall she'd been facing, hands clasping in front of him.

"James Muldoon," he fills in, grey eyebrows lifting in some surprise. "On-record, he was an investment banker. Off-record, he helped manage the finances for an illegal Evolved fight pit. Not that there's any evidence to support it, just heartell and common sense."

He once again pushes off from the wakk, goes to collect the photographs and slip them back inside his briefcase. "He's off the map now. Vanished into thin air. But it's a start. You gonna be okay?"

It's a few moments before she responds. When she feels the meds kicking in, she finally opens her eyes to look up at the agent and nods. In detail, she relays the scene that unfolded without emotion or elaboration, starting with the entry of the man in the suit who Delphine called Mr. Muldoon. She stops at the abduction by what appears to be security guards.

Rebecca stands and turns to follow, considering for the moment that he is finished with her. "I'll be fine. The headache is a side effect. It goes away with medication." She places the mirror back into her purse. "I'm sorry it wasn't more helpful."

Tightening the buckles of his suitcase, Thompson picks it up, and gives her a smile with slightly too-white teeth. "Never apologise, Ms. Nakano," he says, dispensing advice as much as it might not be wanted. "Just say 'you're welcome' when I get around to thanking you for your coorperation in a federal investigation." The door creaks as he opens it for her, the light in the hallway shining in just as red as it had in her vision when the Irishwoman had been dragged out into it, her feet scrabbling against lavish carpet.

He thinks to offer; "I can drive you home."

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