hector_icon.gif mayes_icon.gif

Scene Title Teehee
Synopsis In which there is doom in the air and Mayes has a glass of white wine.
Date December 12, 2010

Awake on my Airplane

The private jet is not quite flying high enough that rain is entirely avoided. Silver streaks of it hit the windows in needle-like strikes, the atmosphere rendered dreary in grey weather as far as one can see out the fish-bowl windows. It's getting late, and it will probably be the equivelant of night time when they touch down in New York City, with winter closing out the sun earlier than usual as winter lurches towards its peak. Inside, it's all golden warmth, the cabin not entirely left to the pair of them. There's a security guard reading a newspaper through his glasses, and his job is to protect Georgia Mayes.

Or. Keep an eye on the other fellow in the cabin, and for all that it would make for a difficult escape, there are still preventative measures in place in the form of clasping silver and chain at one wrist. Georgia has silver bangles to match, earrings, a black dress and a fur-lined coat bundled on the empty seat beside her. One leg crossed over the other, tan stockings making her shins shine above black pumps. "Here we are," she's saying, drawing glossy photographs out from a folder.

She offers them to the man opposite — snapshots of the AETOS-0. "I'm not sure if anyone thought to show you the end result," she says, hand retracting once the pictures are taken. "But you should know that this little machine has done fabulously so far. Successfully deployed in an urban assault scenario. The 8th," she clarifies. Not the 8th of December. Most people in America still know what the 8th is meant to mean. "It's now FRONTLINE's favourite pet."

Not quite so fabulous as Georgia with certain — limitations impressed upon his available wadrobe by security personnel with sharp eyes and soft raccoon hands, Hector is dashingly compact nonetheless in a three piece suit and overcoat all raven and ebony 'til the persian blue of his dress shirt and brighter tie. And cuffs. The ones that aren't metal.

He's eyeing the ones that are for all that he is sitting up straight in his seat, lax as he can be opposite the most literally mountainlionesque cougar he's had the misfortune of. Being in close quarters with.

But eyes are eyes and hands are hands and he is being very, very careful not to reach as if he'd like to touch at the hinge or the chain and especially not the locking mechanism, nnnooo. Especially not that.

It's the ruffle of paper rather than the sound of her voice that calls his attention upwards once more, brilliant blue eyes and trimly trimmed goatee too sharply astute. Not unlike a cat that's been caught with its whiskers in butter. Probably the same look he had on his face when they told him he was no longer entitled to the bleach he used to feather into the artistic tousel of his hair. Sorry, what?

"Oh," he says, once he's reached with his unfettered right hand to recover and survey offered photographs, "oh I'm so proud. Really, I am. It's like a little…ah…" his brows hike, at a loss, apparently, "…angry seagull."

"Mm, well. Better than a sad one," Mayes notes, her attention returned to her paperwork as opposed to trying to note the glow of joy in Hector's eyes over seeing his own rough designs brought to life by the hand of another. "You can extend your feedback to one Warren Ray, one of the Commonwealth Institute's up and coming young— " She lifts a shoulder, letting that word get blanked out, like perhaps being an Evolved means that being a legitimate engineer is canceled out. "We've been giving him the remnants of your previous inventions and seeing what he can do with them, and as you can see, the results have been remarkable."

Angry seagull, or no angry seagull. She smiles, blandly. "If you're curious as to its performance, I believe that Officer Catherine— " She pauses, flicks a page aside, and corrects herself. "Kaitlyn Dooley is its keeper. But I suspect Ray might be of more interest." She raises a silvery eyebrow, as if not quite sure that's true, head tilted and blue-eyed stare focused on goatee'd inventor.

Joy. Quiet, coal-furnace disgust. Such a subtle difference hardly warrants recognition. Afterall, a glow's a glow, isn't it?

The worst of it wrenched off his face in a snubbish rankle of his nose and a turn of the page, Hector sniffs and snuffs and adjusts the sit of his shoulders against his seat like an unhappy little raven on a stump. Shackled into place there to. Caw and scrape.

And invent.

"Oh," he says, "I will — certainly. Extend feedback. I mean, this — this," angry pelican — he shakes the best photograph at Mayes and cannot even really summon enough energy to do it with exclamation points before he shirks the entire stack over into the seat next to him and sighs.

"Look, I'm sorry I got a little turned around outside've the men's room but we are on an aireoplane now. There's only one exit." He is referring to the cuff at his left wrist now, corresponding arm lifted to stretch the chain to its meager limit. Unfortunately, he then does himself the automatic and terrible disservance of hooking a look backk over his shoulder at the emergency exit that's just risen back to the forefront of his mind. "Two. Two exits. But zero parachutes, I should point out."

"No parachutes?" This seems to vaguely alarm Mayes, like maybe she only heard that last part as she narrows a look at Hector. "Good lord. Here's to hoping we don't encounter some dire mechanical failure — although I suspect you'd be just the man to have on board." Her shoulders go up a fraction in a sort of teehee shrug, which is even less endearing when she fails to address the handcuff latched to Hector's wrist. She fidgets a kick of the leg atop the other, blank pump coming free of her heel in a deliberate swing before she absently sets it back with pressing it to the ground.

And sends a glance to the security guard, who doesn't appear to be listening, or is at the very least declining to put on a show of how much listening he's actually doing. "Mister von Stahl. Please don't ask that I break security protocol for the sake of social niceties. Obviously, you haven't been to New York lately."

She leans back in her seat, and reaches for the glass of wine she left standing since she started through the folder. "I had some technical questions for you, if you'd humour me. What effect would irradiated terrain have on your machines?"

"On the contrary, Madame Mayes, I am just the fellow to have on board if you'd like to see outer space before we all die." Says Hector. With a similar sort of deadly cheerful ha ha in bright eyes and pearly teeth slivered knifelike at the corner of his mouth. Ha.

"Obviously," agreed companionably enough, he keeps his left hand elevated in mild, cultured protest while he reaches over to pluck another photo out've the discarded pile, in-flight reading material the only thing between him and a slip of his tongue that he might regret more than usual.

"Prolonged exposure to ionizing radiation can weaken the atomic structure of mmmost substances, including metal alloys, such that their desirable properties are deteriorated or lost entirely if not regularly maintained. Not to mention the considerable risk of contamination for anyone who should come into contact with a device that had been operating in such terrain, du alte verstaubte fotze."

Well, asking a technical question should allow for technical answer. It's likely not all of them went entirely over Mayes' coiffed head, but enough for her to switch her stare out the window briefly as she takes a demure sip of white, inhaling the dry fruit scent of alcohol as she does. "These days, I can't tell what would be more expensive to risk. Your designs brought to life, or the hideously overpaid FRONTLINE toy soldiers," she says, shifting in her seat for comfort, as if going unshackled weren't enough.

She then lifts and passes over the folder in full, or at least, sets it down within reach. "I was hoping your jungle-faring patrolling robots might be adjusted to a more urban environment. But we can discuss the particulars once we're on the ground — there are quite a few of them.

"Is there anything you would like to know, Hector?"

Hector lacks the necessary motivation to look more than very slightly condescending when the discourse ends there. At his single answer. A coolly hooded sideways look, a pull at his nostrils. His eyeliner and eyeshadow are only very thinly applied these days — a more professional sort've look to coincide with his darker hair and marginally more masculine trim.

There may even be a touch of grey in there. Somewhere. If there is, he is pretending very hard not to notice.

"You'd save loads if you did neither," he says, pragmatic more than optimistic. Comfortable enough, in his one handcuff and his fancy suit and his airplane and his security escort, all up until that part about jungle-faring patrol robots slithers in. Then, he looks asharply to the rain-lined square of the nearest window as if to see if it heard what he did. Just now. Loose skin furrowed with stubbly stipple against the curl of his knuckles when he ratchets that same look back over onto Mayes. Very subtle.

"Er," he says. "Sorry. What?"

"Studies show that up to 86% of Evolved ability— a little blurry, of course, we only have the Registry to learn from— have a direct effect on human minds and bodies. This accounts for manipulations to do with blood, flesh, bone, diseases, neurotransmitters, and then empathetic powers— feelings, and the like. Telepathic ability is its own emerging field, from subtle persuasion through to mind control, illusion-based powers, memory manipulation— the list is truly endless." Another slow sip of wine, although this one goes deeper, her stare faltering.

Enough to make Mayes wince once she's done, but she carries on in a conversational tone. "Only a very small percentage of the population have an ability that directly impacts mechanics and technology. We can account for hydrokinetics, pyrokinetics, electrokinetics, but these would negatively impact most things, flesh and metal both. The Department of Evolved Affairs is keen to look into alternatives when it comes to law enforcement and the Evolved, Hector, without putting our soldiers and police officers at risk.

"The amount of Evo-related causalities on our side is disgusting." She smiles again, in the time it takes for her to hesitation, before breezily adding, "And the witness accounts we managed to collect from Argentina with regards to your work has been very encouraging. Let's call it unfortunate, that you began to manufacture your creations for a terrorist. We would see more noble enterprises from you, from now on. Then we'll call it even."

"Ah," says Hector uneasily, "well." Well. "Witness accounts."

Obviously, there would be accounts. By witnesses. He scratches at the side of his nose, spine leaning back all the way upright.

"Riff raff of the sort sent to eliminate me has marked tendencies towards hyperbole, you know. Very unprofessional, I say. Not that I'm not flattered with regard to your assumption that I'm personally capable of cutting down on casualties by — I mean. There really is no replacement for a man in the field. Or woman. Or. Hermaphrodite," he gestures to her, apologetically, "I don't mean to discriminate."

"Oh, you." The toe of her shoe nudges Hector's shin, Mayes shining another smile his way. "I think you underestimate yourself. To what end, I have no idea, but I must remind you that if we wanted your opinion of what you were capable of beyond what we already know, we would have asked you politely." And they haven't. Necessarily. Asked him politely. "But no, quite right — we still have paper in the age of the digital revolution, and there will be no replacing or devaluing the necessary abilities of soldiers, but as with computers, it can't hurt."

A flap of her hand acts like punctuation to end this line of conversation, as if maybe policy really was that frivolous — maybe it is, when discussing it with men handcuffed to a chair. "And anyway. It won't just by all you. We have Warren. He's been a fantastic asset."

Contact around the region of his shin has Hector looking like he's having to swallow down a lump of acid reflux the size and consistency of a sea mouse, left hand clawed against its rest beyond its silvery confine of stainless steal. Agghh. Gross.

He doesn't scoot his foot back though, petty resistance maintained through sheer force of will while he struggles to regain himself with a stout breath and a knit at his brow. Somehow this all comes out into a smile. His Britishness may or may not play a role in this otherwise supernatural ability.

"Indubitably," sounds like agreement again. A very general sort of agreement, even. Not dry at all. "I don't suppose this shift will entail a pay raise."

"That's not my department." And Mayes slides back the rest of her wine, just as the woman who had poured it some several moments prior pokes her head through the door into the cabin and gently informs them to please, put on your seat belts, and takes the glass object as Mayes offers it out. Clacking the seat belt into place, the older of the two Brits then puts out an expectant hand across the aisle, looking towards the security guard with glimmery apathy in muted-blue eyes.

The suit hesitates, then puts something silver into her palm before she can make her demand into words. "However, between you and I," she says, pinching the key between index finger and thumb, the length of her white nails making the gesture look deceptively difficult, "we can always start with trust."

And she tosses the key to land between them, even as the plane begins to nose its descent.

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