cesar_icon.gif choi_icon.gif cooper_icon.gif emily_icon.gif lance_icon.gif rhys_icon.gif robyn4_icon.gif voss_icon.gif

Scene Title SESAween
Synopsis For just one day, it's all fun and games at SESA HQ.
Date October 31, 2019

Fort Jay

"Okay, everyone, the all-hands monster mash meeting will be starting in five minutes!"

It's the second time someone (Betty Bernard) has cheerily gone through the area shouting to that effect. Emily Epstein cups her face in her hands and rubs vigorously, blearily looking at her computer screen through her fingers. At this rate, the email she was working on was never getting done.

When something black and buglike lands on her keyboard a moment later, she lets out a shriek, pushing away from her desk and swatting at the desk with vigor while she comes to her feet. There is a spider

a rubber spider

on. her. desk.

"Lance!" Emily fumes loudly, looking in the direction of the presumed prankster. She looks down at her desk for something to throw at him and comes up short save for the gummy spider that had been dropped on her. She pelts it his way. "I swear to god—" she hisses, reaching for another item. A plush ghost sitting on her desk is grasped, and she holds fire.

She likes the ghost. The frustrating events that transpired are not the ghost's fault. She'd rather not throw it.

"I said fine, I'll go to the thing, you don't have to spook me out of my desk about it," Emily seethes. She still holds the marshmallow of a ghost in a semi-threatening way.

“Whoa whoa!”

The familiar voice of Cooper comes from behind her, chiding her. “Don’t be throwing things around the place. This is a professional setting! Besides, that’s assaulting an agent.” Emily suddenly has a spray can is set on her deck with a thump. “Use this instead!” he offers brightly and turns the can so she can see the label. It’s.. it’s silly string?? “Just let me get out of the line of fire first and you go to town on that kid. If you manage to get Dirk in the processes I will gladly turn a blind eye.”

While Cooper wasn’t really ‘dressed up’ he was wearing a crown of…. Were those fake donuts? And… and was that a cape?

So much for that professional setting.

There's the clack of something wooden against a desk, as Robyn walks up behind Cooper. "So decrees Good King Dunkin Donut," she remarks in a flat tone. A ruler is tossed from her hand down to the desk, and she shakes her head. She isn't dressed up - if anything, she looks more professional than normal today. "We need to get you a new schtick," she adds, eyes sliding over to Emily.

"Epstein, what did Lance do this time?" Epstein, spoken as though Robyn were allergic to referring to Emily by anything other to her last name. After a moment, she looks upwards, pursing her lips. "I guess that's a bad question. What didn't he do?" As though that's a better one.

Focusing on the ghost, she quirks an eyebrow. "Oh no," she says in that again flat tone. "Who did he kill?"

“It wasn’t me,” Lance insists with a grin that belies his words as his head pops up to peer over to Emily’s desk, eyebrows raised upwards, “It was the one armed man!”

He’s dressed in a more formal-looking suit than usual, even with a sedate black tie, so he must be up to something. He usually has far more ridiculous ties than that. Nobody knows where he gets them. (Secret: they’re normal ties, he just has Brynn use her ability on them.)

“And if you keep that up, Robyn— “ He reaches down to his desk and pulls up a… pair of horn-rimmed glasses without glass, putting them on his face and tapping a temple, “And I’ll start telling Gun Hill stories tonight.”

Oh no he’s going to the Halloween Party as Noah Bennet.

The can of silly spray is eyed sorely by Emily, who slowly lowers the ghost plush and picks up the can instead. Feeling armed is just as good as firing in this scenario. Thanks, Cooper. She turns brusquely at the sound of her surname, a cat on edge and ready to bolt.

Honestly, she's lucky she's not getting a face full of silly string either, but she's been Epsteined by Robyn Quinn enough times now she's slowly growing accustomed to it.

Who Lance killed though? "One of the special agents, and now he's gone and assumed the man's identity and everything." Emily informs drily, no hint of humor in her deadpan. "Now that's a horror story," she murmurs to herself more than anyone. "The ability to assume someone else's identity. On-brand for Halloween, I guess?"

She looks back to Lance as he tries to rain on the raining on of parades, expression stoic. Emily does not ask if Robyn would like her to kill Lance for trying to bring up her (potentially problematic??) past. She simply moves straight to lifting her arm and shooting a strand of neon green foam at Lance's tie.

And anyway, did she really need the excuse?

"Pardon me," Emily says in a rush as she maneuvers past Cooper, the hint of a grin curling up a corner of her mouth. Exit, stage cover-from-return-fire.

Cooper waves off Robyn’s comment with a laugh, “Why mess with a good thing?” He grabs the edge of the short gaudy cape and pull it around him, his chin lifting. “I will never relinquish my crown.” Letting go of the cape he adds, “And be happy…” Stepping aside for Emily, he points to the can in passing. “I was gonna use that on you.” and Dirk.

Then turning back to Lance abruptly, Cooper asks with a motion at the tie,“You gonna let her treat you like that?” Another can is produced from the silly little cape with a wicked grin.

Where did he hide that?

Offered over like a King offering a sword, Cooper’s voice deepens a bit as he declares, “Go now, Sir Gerken, and defend thy honor.” If anything could be said about the agent… He was weird and didn’t give a crap… even less so since the War.

"Cooper, no-" Robyn cuts off her own protest as Cooper produces another bottle of silly string and hands it off to Lance and replaces it with a heavy sigh. Lips thin, eyes moving to look across the others in the room, quietly deciding if she wants to stay or go before this gets too much more out of hand. Or before Voss storms out of his office, probably in his own ridiculous outfit, and ironically yells at them for having too much fun. Or something.

"Lance," she intones in a stern, weirdly matronly voice, "you know those stories aren't work safe. At least save them for when we go to Cat's Cradle later." A beat and she smirks and points a finger at him. "Oh wait, that's right." He's not old enough. It's a low blow, but that seems to be what the day has on order. "Besides, you know anyone just has to ask. They're just smart enough not to."

Robyn clicks her tongue. "I feel like I am not suitably equipped to handle what's about to happen." Smirk growing, her gaze slides over to Cooper. "Care to fix that?"

“My tie!” An overdramatic gasp from Lance as neon green string drapes down it and his suit jacket, holding up the limp end of the tie like a wounded warrior, “You base villain! I’ll have satisfaction for this— “

A dart around the desk and he heads after Emily, capturing the can of silly string en route from Cooper’s hand, “Thanks, Agent Donut.”

Then he’s past them, and—

A hiss in the air is followed by a few strands of pink silly string drifting down over Robyn’s head, because calling him out for being underaged to drink was a low blow, and demanded satisfaction.

Oh, god, the drama of it all. Emily bites her tongue as she maneuvers down a row of desks, aiming to avoid being shot at. It's not without victims anyway. "Gah," comes from her involuntarily as she sidesteps a wandering coworker. She only realizes who after. "Sorry, Betty."

At what she believes is a safe distance, she chances a look back to give Lance a sturdy glare. "You wouldn't dare," she challenges. "You've got no idea the can of worms you'd be opening."

Her intimidation is only in her long-term determination. Cooper's desk and Cooper himself can attest to it.

Cooper waves Lance off with a regal look. “Go forth and conquer,” is said deeply, before turning to Robyn. Oh! More to play?!? The man is always willing to help out. “I dunno… Let me look.”

Cooper pulls his cape around and makes a show of digging into the pocket that had the silly string in, lips pressed tight. What is produced is not a can of silly string, but a couple of fun sized packets of gummy lifesavers?!?! “Sorry! Looks like I only had the two cans. But hey!,” he starts brightly, “Candy!” The packets are wiggled at her, just before she is decorated with the pink string.

The man gives his former smuggling partner a shit eating grin. “Oooooh man… collateral damage. Sorry, Robyn.” (Narrator: He was not… in fact… sorry.) He leans over and gives Lance an enthusiastic thumbs up.

Deputy-Director Kristopher Voss isn’t dressed for Halloween when he comes into view down the hallway, phone cradled between shoulder and chin. A keen eye reveals a tiny orange pumpkin pin fastened to his right lapel, the be all and end all of his holiday spirit. “…and I told him we would, but right now we need to make sure it’s not going to unravel any further.”

Though Voss is busy with what sounds like work, Director Madeline Choi at his side is nothing of the sort. At least, no one could possibly take her seriously dressed in a sparkling gown with a glittery crown and a star-headed wand. Fairy Godmother, absolutely. Director of SESA-NY? Not at the moment. She angles a look at Voss that wordlessly chides him on his lack of costume, but given the seriousness of the conversation she knows he’s having, it’s not remarked upon any further.

“Happy Halloween, Junior Agents and Agent Quinn,” Choi remarks as she steps into the open office floor, cracking a sly smile at Cooper as she lumps him up with the kids. “I’m really impressed, but not entirely surprised, that you went all out.” Where she was able to find a full costume like this, in the Safe Zone, post war, is another story entirely.

“Uh huh,” Voss says as he continues on by, only briefly glancing in at Choi’s back, “well, maybe you can tell them we don’t have an answer, because it defies all of the laws of nature? How’s that for an immediate answer? And if Madame Secretary doesn’t like that she’s welcome to come down and stick her head in…” and his voice trails off down the hall.

Seeing Voss and hearing Choi - it takes a moment to place the voice for the person with the costume - makes Quinn's posture reflexively straighten, almost standing at attention as silly string clings to the front of her dark blue suit. It sags, and then falls to the floor, drawing her eyes down to it as it limply flops down.

Eyes linger on Choi for a moment, before she glances over at Cooper. "I'll remember this," she whispers in a playful tone, before looking back to her superiors. "Happy Halloween to SESA's faerie queen," Quinn remarks with an exaggerated bow, before looking over to Voss. "And to you, Deputy Director."

She offers him a slight smile - she appreciates having an apparent kindred spirit in the room, as much as neither of them would admit it, she's sure. "I feel suddenly underdressed," she muses thoughtfully. She doesn't really have anything for costumes anyway… except maybe as herself circa 8 years ago. But, well. No.

Instead, she looks to the candy Cooper brandishes. "You're too prepared for this," she says with a chuckle, idly wondering if any kids will be brave enough to Trick or Treat this year. She wasn't expecting it in her neighborhood, at least. That doesn't stop her from snatching one of those candies, though, not at all.

“Directors,” Lance greets, one hand ‘hiding’ the silly string behind his back as the other comes up to adjust those horn-rimmed glasses in an entirely too accurate way to how Noah used to, “Happy Halloween.”

He cranes his neck a bit to peer after Voss’s departure, and then notes, “Should someone tell him that the laws of nature have been optional since, like, two-thousand?”

A pause, and he touches his nose, “Not it.”

Still edging away a half-step back at a time, Emily wears the involuntary beginnings of a grin, amplified by the pointed canine prosthetic capped to her teeth. (She went for an easy costume, what can she say.) When she hears the sound of something serious, she stops in her backpedal and turns. Her grin only grows at seeing the Director's choice of costume. "Hi, Madeline," she offers politely, like she's not a step away from a silly-string war. A greeting to the man on the phone is considered, but abandoned— maybe for a variety of reasons.

Her head snaps back toward Lance quickly, still aware and waiting for return fire. When he makes his quip, Emily lets out a note of laughter, quiet. "I dunno, nose goes." And she lets out another swirling spritz of silly string in his direction. Professionalism is apparently on pause today.

“I look forward to it,” Cooper returns cheekily to Robyn’s veiled threat, before turning to the two of SESA New York’s top brass with a bright smile. Of course, he doesn’t say anything until Voss walks passed.

Cooper will never take any offence from being lumped with the kids. “What can I say… any excuse to pit interns against each other in glorious battle.” Yeah, don't ask.

Choi gets a lop-sided, self-satisfied grin. “And you think this is all out? My daughter talked me out of the donut print tights and the balloon-y pants I planned to wear.” Motioning the directors state of dress Thomas says, “But look at you. I would not have pegged you for the type. Now I simply feel completely underdressed.” All he had was the ridiculous donut crown and cape over his normal suit and tennis shoes.

As Voss’ cuts through the conversation, Cooper watches him for a moment sliding over to stand next to Choi, before piping up: “Permission to send the interns after the halloween humbug?” He knows the answer, but Thomas asks it anyhow and offers a tiny bag of gummy lifesavers as an aside. “My queen.. Director?”

"Am I late to the meeting?"

Speaking of underdressed, one more agent stepping into view comes with not just a stern look but a full on actual spear in hand, enough to chase off costumed kidlets who come back for seconds at the candy dishes. King Leonidas aka Cesar doesn't appear to mind the looks he's gotten for being bared to the masses this holiday either. The red cape covers his backside sure, but the front leaves little to the imagination.

Choi raises one brow so high it might just fly off of her head the moment Cesar strides in. She swivels a look back to Emily, then over to the chalk-white faced Jack Skellington that just choked on his drink. “You going to be alright there, Agent Bluthner?” Choi asks of Rhys who is dabbing his shirt and striped suit jacket down with a handkerchief.

Kaff— ” Rhys exhales, “fine just fine. I’m fine.” Rhys manages to splurt out, averting eye-contact from Cesar.

Smiling patiently Choi offers a look back to the junior agents with a mild smile. “You all’ve done a great job helping set up for this. With the year we’ve had, I’m glad we still find time to…” she glances at Lance, “find a way to lighten the mood.” A couple of the other agents in the room haven’t quite broken their eyes away from Emily, let alone Cesar, the former because of her choice to address Choi by her first name rather than as Director or Choi, and how the Director herself just let that happen where a lesser man might’ve earned a look.

“And if it’s any consolation, Agent Cooper,” Choi slides a Cheshire smile his way, “I’m going to a costume gala at the Mayor’s tonight, but I thought I’d stop by and show off the razzle-dazzle and see how this was going. Nobody wants to have fun with the boss around anyway.”

Rhys is still toweling himself off. He may be for a while.

Clearing her throat, Robyn watches the mild chaos unfold in front of her, her mood straddling somewhere between nonplussed and begrudgingly amused. She looks to Rhys and smirks, tilting her head slightly askew in an amused manner. "I have a spare dress shirt if you'd like to borrow it, Rhys," she offers with a wink and a smile

Her eyes shift over to Emily, that grin finally becoming more genuine. "Epstein," is spoken through barely contained amusement at an idea she's just had, eyes drifting to the silly string before tilting her head towards Rhys - get 'em. It'll have to do since Saito isn't here for her to joke around with. That is, if anyone besides her considers this joking.

“Ack,” Lance yelps as there’s another spray of silly-string over his chest and shoulder, one hand coming up to wipe it off to the floor. He starts to raise his can, tensing to go for cover… but then Robyn is suggesting a new target, and he has an idea that’s much better.

His other hand dives for his pocket to grab his phone, and he declares, “Emily, get the agents all together for a picture together. We’ll get Director Choi to one side, then Agent Cooper, Agent Rhys, Agent Diaz, and Agent French Quinn. Make sure to pack in nice and tight so we can get you all in one shot!”

While not normally one for photos she's in herself, Emily takes to the idea with enthusiasm. After all, the day carried a certain energy, and with it what feels like a once in a lifetime opportunity. "Yeah! Let's all get a group shot before the costume contest," she agrees, starting to wave her arms to gather everyone together. By the end of it they might all be rolling in late to Betty's monster mash, but at least they were embracing the spirit of the day at all.

The idea of a prank is entirely forgotten, Robyn's idea and Lance's 'much better' idea theoretically giving way to her much better idea. Emily pauses in herding everyone in such a way that shows off their costumes (including making sure Cesar can be seen from the waist down, too, to avoid him looking like a successful nudist— and hiding Rhys' spill by putting him in the second row) and looks over at Lance with a stern determination. Actual picture, please. "Great idea, Lance," she says with a certain overemphasis.

She opts to join the huddle of agents, too— if they go down, they all go down together under the silly string. Emily flashes a brief, fang-filled smile at Choi as she settles in. "It's good to see you having fun, too," she asides, looking after to Cooper with a wider smile.

Permission explicitly given or not, Voss still might get a visit from the Prank Brigade once he was off the phone.

“Ouch… I am not jealous of your obligations, Madeline, but I might be jealous of anyone that gets to dance with you looking like tha- …. “ The words come to a quick halt, with Cooper’s lips pressed together in a tight line, his expression rather pained as he realizes his faux pas. “Aaaand I’ve said too much.” His boss gets an apologetic look. “Sorry, that was totally out of line.” His tone says that it might not be the first time.

To be fair, his HR file tends to be on the thicker side.

Of course, this is when Cooper turns away from Choi and towards Cesar… And stops dead. “Dude! I said PG! Not R.” He says in an exasperated tone at Cesar. Hands tug his rumbled jacket closed and buttons it, suddenly rather self-conscious of his own not-exposed-to-the-world-dad-abs. “Not cool! If I dressed like that, I’d be in sensitivity classes for a millenia.”

In fact, at the mention of a picture, Cooper sweeps the cape off and tosses it at Cesar’s head with a smirk. “Cover it up, Conan, before Sally sees you. You look like you are ready for the Chipendales.”

Is that a touch of oil on Cesar's natural bronze biceps? Maybe. "We do not cover up our bodies. We show our enemies our shining pride and superior strength!" Cesar (ahem, King Leonidas) responds after deftly catching the sparkly cape tossed at him in his free hand. He holds up the cloth item as if to claim it as a trophy for a moment, then breaks character long enough to aim a toothy smile at Cooper. "C'mon man, you're fine. Put your cape back on, and join me, Donut King." He offers back the cape. A beat passes. He turns his expression back to serious and playing up the fake Hollywood pseudo-British accent for everybody of the Olden Times, intones deeply, "Join me, or fall under Sparta."

Despite the mock-threat, Cesar is easily herded along for picture taking, positioned where requested. Nobody can say he doesn't take direction well. If he ends up beside Agent Jack Skellington-Bluthner, who is he to deny the artistry of juxtaposition between a man that's all bones and a man that's all musclemeat.

It is a mercy that Choi grants on Cooper that she lets his good-natured aside slip this once. Though the side eye she delivers is bippity-boppoity-bad. Exhaling a sigh and shaking her head, she makes a motion in Lance’s direction with a glitter-covered wand. “Excellent thinking, Gerken.” With that permission, she steps in to the side of the frame, grabbing at the crinkly fabric of her bell-shaped gown and pulling it from where it momentarily snagged on a desk.

Rhys, finished toweling off his shame, just wide-eyed stares at Lance and crab walks sideways into frame, flushed red and sweaty. For the first time in his entire existence, Rhys is just silent and not because of some existential underground horror as it had been in the past. A couple other agents and administrative staff are corralled into the group shot by Choi, moving in to frame with everyone else.

Angled not far from Cesar, Choi affords the agent a side eye of her own and under her breath inquires, “Having a hard time shedding the undercover work, hm?” There’s an impish crook of a smile there, followed by a soft laugh and a shake of her head. It’s the first time anyone’s seen Choi smile in months.

"No, that's not-" A frustrated sigh escapes Robyn's lips as everyone begins to corral together. Crossing her arms, she watches for a moment. It's a moment spent willing herself invisible, even despite knowing that that's not how she works anymore.

In lieu of actual invisibility, she offers the gathering crowd a smile before starting slowly move away. It had been her plan to slip away after setting Rhys up to be silly strong bombed, so now feels like as good a time as ever.

As Robyn starts to edge away, Lance gives her a look - two fingers pointing at his eyes and those ridiculous horn-rimmed glasses he’s wearing, then her. It’s not a bad Noah imitation, all things considered.

His phone’s brought up then as everyone starts edging in for the picture, and he grins - wider when he notices the color that Rhys is turning. One point for Gerken. “Alright, everyone,” he calls out, focusing the picture, “Say ‘GUN HILL LESBIANS’!”


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