The Opportunity


emily_icon.gif robyn4_icon.gif

Scene Title The Opportunity
Synopsis Morning coffee turns into an unexpected offer.
Date July 19, 2019

Fort Jay

There's a joke, about Fort Jay. About how it is one of the last true pieces of New York left, because it never seems to sleep… and nor do the people who work there. There is always work to be done at SESA-NY's headquarters. Someone is always there, for one reason or another. For somewhere so isolated from the rest of New York, it feels like it fits right in with the rest of the mainland.

Despite that, it's a bit of a rare sight these days to find Robyn Quinn milling about. Even with her current case being stalled like it is, she spends her time either locked away in her office, or at home invested in a whole other set of problems from the ones she tends to find herself embroiled in at work.

It also means that, for someone who may be as reputable as she supposedly is, she hasn't made much effort to get to know or meet any of the several new hires or interns over the last few months besides those she is already familiar with or has had assigned to work with her, such as her erstwhile partner Kenji Saito.

So her standing bleary eyed by the coffee maker in one of Fort Jay's break rooms, eyes half lidded, is perhaps an effort to fight off a newfound reputation for being a bit of a recluse within the agency she used to be heavily active in. In truth, she's really just waiting for final documentation to arrive before she can gather up Saito and their civillian helper and finally put her current case to rest. Or at least, this part of it.

Her expression is impassive as she takes a sip from an old, stained mug with old, faded and chipped words on the side, partially obscured by her other hand. A long sigh rings out, and her eyes close, taking a moment to savor the time to herself.

Well, mostly to herself. She's not entirely alone in here any longer. And the intern that's just finished rounding the corner into the break room jolts when she looks up from her autopilot path to the coffee maker and sees Robyn Quinn of all people standing there.

"Jesus," she exhales, like she's just been through a funhouse scare. She's not sure she needs the coffee anymore.

Well, that was rude, Emily.

The thin blonde soon-to-not-be-teenager lets out a sigh at herself, blame directed somewhere not at Robyn. She half looks up, her own mug loosely held by the handle awkwardly with her arm hanging by her side. Only barely glancing up at the agent, she asks, "Um, do you mind if…?" with a gesture of her coffee cup and little else to indicate what she's after.

It's been months since the interns have started, and not a week has gone by that she's wondered when she would cross paths with Agent Quinn. Her time is up. Her luck has run out.

Her badge bears the surname Epstein, an indicator she might not have had much luck to begin with.

"Sorry," Emily mutters, not trying to unroot Robyn between her and her destination of the coffee pot, but also at the same time definitely do that. Habit demanded caffeine consumption.

It's with a scowl that Robyn looks up at Emily. Not of any sort of malice, but more of tiredness than anything else. "Rude." It almost sounds like a stern remark, not acknowledgement given to how rude it is in turn for Robyn to be hoarding all the coffee to herself. She tries to belay that feeling with a small smile as she steps aside and motions to the coffee maker. Go ahead.

Both hands wrap around her mug- a personal one she keeps at the office, purchased from a small shop in Bay Ridge that makes personalised ceramics. It bares the initial "RJQ" on it stylised to look like music notes, just in case anyone might be confused as to whom it belongs. From its ware and its stains, it's clear it sees a lot of use and maybe not as much cleaning as it should.

It rises to her lips once more, eyes flicking down to the coffee, and then back up to Emily. "I don't believe I've seen you around the Fort before," she remarks a bit dryly. "Just come to us out here on the island?" Her head tilts slightly to the side, as if trying to place the woman across from her. There's a sense of uncomfortable hesitation as fingers drum against ceramics.

She's never been sure if she needs to introduce herself. She still remembers Saito's excitement upon meeting her.

The thought that Robyn might not remember her has never occurred to Emily, and it's one that makes her pause for a moment, the coffee pot half set to pour. She blinks once, the momentary lapse quickly recovered over with a shake of her head. After all, in the greater context, maybe it's an odd question after all. "No," the teen replies politely while she pours. "I've been out here with the other interns since March." Even though she sets the pot back down lightly, the contents swirl against the glass. She leans over the countertop to snag a fingerful of flavored creamer droplets, snagging them open one at a time before pitching them overhand into the nearby trash can.

She chances a look back over at the Agent, overall not looking either impressed to see her or unknowing of who she is. Emily's gaze is sharp, the blues of her eyes near ice. "I'm Emily," she greets anyway, absently stirring at her coffee before pitching the plastic straw in the same way she'd gotten rid of the first object. "Lance and Sq—Jac are friends of mine." Her brow creases involuntarily at her slip, and at the mention of her missing friend at all.

Robyn's brow furrows. "Squeaks," she offers, knowing of the young girl's nickname. "So we have three of you here now, hmm?" She studies Emily for a moment, as if searching for some flicker of recognition. "And here I thought I knew all their friends." A weak smile forms on her face, almost strangely kind of matronly. Setting aside her coffee cup, the agent extends a hand to Emily.

"I don't believe I've had the pleasure, then. Robyn Janestine Quinn," said with a motion to the initials on the cup - it's definitely hers - before picking it up with her other hand. "How do you like it so far?"

The fullness of Robyn's introduction instills a guilt in Emily she wasn't expecting, bringing her to barely resist cringing. She accepts the hand offered hesitantly, but accepts it nonetheless, and looks slightly off of the agent as she mentally braces herself. "Epstein. Emily Epstein," she clarifies about herself. Her middle name is a bit much. The family name was already like pulling teeth from her, but she figures the other woman will notice the badge pinned to her hip at some point.

"And we've met before," comes from her at an uncomfortable clip, hand pulled back to her. "Actually." is added with a touch more confidence, distance, the same ice returned to her gaze as she looks back to Robyn. Emily is courteous, or at least attempts it— but she doesn't smile.

"I came knocking on your door once," the teen clarifies, hand finding her cup of coffee again. It's held to keep herself occupied, and possibly to prevent it from suddenly finding itself knocked over— accidentally or otherwise.

She never knows what to expect with people who know her father.

For her honesty, Emily receives a handshake that suddenly turns vice tight. It's brief, but a clear indication of recognition. "The one who came to my door about Magnes," she remarks in an unamused tone. "Right." There's a lingering moment before a smirk starts to form on her face. "Well, nothing happened to him, so I suppose that's all well and in the past, isn't it?"

She withdraws her hand, moving to pick back up her own cup of coffee. "New York is a small city. It always has been; it's too easy to feel like you know everyone and see them constantly." She takes a small sip, eyes on Emily as she does. "So I can only assume that I already know your father." Avi goes unnamed, he doesn't need to be in the context of the conversation. "I have more respect for him than I think he knows."

And that's that. That's her reaction. "So, Epstein," yep, "What brought you to SESA, then?"

As far as Magnes goes, "The goal had been to keep him from doing something stupid. Nothing's happened to him, so I assume he hasn't." Emily nurses a sip from her coffee, still finding it a touch too warm for much more than that. She works on righting her posture, trying not to shirk from it being known who she is, even though she tries to avoid direct eye contact.

The comment about respect draws her gaze back anyway. Gingerly, she lifts her voice. "Well," Emily offers up gently. "I think you might find that's mutual."

Running from Robyn's question is impossible, still locked in without any polite means of escape. "Nepotism, if I had to guess," she answers swiftly, evenly. "I wasn't looking at them, but they came looking for me. A letter showed up back in January." The smile she gives the agent is little more than a tightening of her eyes.

"Not to say that it's not been a valuable experience despite that. How about you?"

"The right offer at the right time," is a casual admittance, Robyn shrugging lightly. "I almost left the States after the war, for Quebec. I had no real interest in fighting or music anymore, but Secretary Chesterfield convinced me to join SESA rather than leave." The name drop isn't meant to have a deal made out of it, dropped casually and with a degree of mild disinterest.

Taking a long sip, Robyn looks off to the side. "I highly doubt it had anything to do with Nepotism. Did he pitch a fit when he found out?" There's traces of a smirk forming again on Robyn's lips, as though that slightly detached coldness of hers was starting to slip away. "Anyway. I may have been a bitch to you. Thank you for looking out to Magnes." Another sip. "Though I'm still serious about anything happening to him."

Eyeing Emily for a moment longer, she sets her cup back down. "Who's handling you training, if anyone?" No assumptions are made about in house training or anything Avi had shown her, and there's a genuine curiosity in her voice. "Are you still in training, or are you being fast-tracked like Saito was?"

Of course Robyn had friends like Catherine Chesterfield encourage her into this line of work. Emily's eyes lid partly, an expression she keeps for some time. To Avi's reaction, she offers little insight. "I honestly don't know what he thought. It'd require us to have a relationship. We don't really talk."

She lifts her chin to acknowledge the apology, trying to gloss past the topic of Magnes, lest the question of why she was actually looking for him came up again. The shift in topic that comes is thus welcome, but surprising. Emily blanches at first. "Training?" she echoes back, not understanding. Her weight shifts as Robyn goes on, and she slowly shakes her head. "N— I'm just an intern," Emily clarifies carefully. "I'm not under any… training."

She hesitates for a moment before supposing, "I had asked Benjamin a while back," months back, really, "to let me know if there was anything I could do to help with what he was working on, but aside from that… Well, I mean, there's not been any training." A beat elapses. "Perhaps a lot of assumptions there is, but…"

Because after all, it's not like Avi has given her any guidance, or even direction. Emily's self-defense and basic firearms training she'd taken up with Teo likely wasn't the type of training Robyn was referring to, either.

That nugget of information about Avi is filed away; Robyn wasn't trying to pry but it won't do any good to use Avi as a common point of conversation, it seems. "Fair enough. I know I had encouraged Lance to become a field agent, I was wondering if you had similar aspirations." Unlikely from the conversation so far, but…

"Ben Ryans?" There's a click of Robyn's tongue and a thin grin forming on her lips. "Well. There's always a good starting place." Ryans wasn't a huge part of her training, but she had still learned many lessons from the living legend.

Fingers drum against the side of her coffee cup, before she sets it back down. "If that is something that interests you, Epstein, my door is always open. I'm not the best here, but I certainly try." Does she? Given her relative lack of presence in the office ever since she took in Matthew, it may be hard to say.

Her grin curls into something a bit wickedly whimsical. "Besides, it's nice to get off the island some days."

In the back of her mind Emily feels slightly guilty shutting down any mention of Avi how she does, knowing that she's trying to salvage some kind of a relationship with her father (for now)… but after all, it's no one's business but theirs anyway. Robyn's shying away from the topic is appreciated.

Not so much is the sudden leverage of Epstein. If she had been working on another sip, it might've ended in a spittake. As it is, her expression goes blank. Recovery isn't smooth.

"I'd…" she starts, clearing her throat. "I'd appreciate the opportunity to accompany someone on fieldwork." After all, she can't know truly that it's not for her until she dips her toe into it. "If that opportunity ever came up, that is."

That off putting grin on Robyn's face becomes noticeably more genuine. "Then it's settled," she decides. "Unless Voss has any concerns, you can join me and Saito soon." After a moment, her expression becomes noticeably more dour. "Originally, Squeaks had been assigned to tag along with us, but…"

Well, Emily knows how that's going.

"Regardless of kin and kith, we need more able bodies around here." She points a finger at Emily. "And there's got to be a reason they reached out to you, Epstein." Yes, she is going to keep calling her that. The reaction didn't go unnoticed, but either Robyn doesn't care or it's a hard habit to break, given the other Epstein she knows. "Besides. It's a good bunch here. And, you know. Lance." Yep. She's not above taking shots at someone 15 years younger than her. In some ways, rare as they may be, Robyn Quinn still hasn't entirely grown up.

Emily overall lifts in surprise at the declaration, brows arching high— until she undergoes a similar settling from hearing about why there was such an opportunity. She swallows back any commentary. None would be useful there. She should… take the opportunity as it arose.

The pointing brings some of her shrewdness back to her, though, even if it is tempered by a coughlike laugh at Robyn's potshot. "Well, we'll see. Won't we?" Emily supposes. She tilts her chin a touch in a gesture of gratitude. "I appreciate the opportunity."

Gauging Emily's reaction carefully, Robyn offers her a small smile. "It was… just for the case anyway," she offers on the subject of Squeaks, and then leaves that tangent in the dust. To the thanks, Robyn offers a small shrug. "I wouldn't be where I am now if certain people hadn't given me an opportunity once upon a time." Cat, Ygraine, and Doyle - none of who were around for Robyn to talk to anymore.

The thought makes her momentarily sad.

"Honestly, I look forward to it," she offers. "Now I just need to berate Voss until he lets it happen." Why does she look forward to it? Even she's not sure. But she has her thoughts on it.

"Good luck with that," Emily replies with blunt sincerity, sliding a step back since she senses an opportunity to peel away from the conversation. "He seems—" she starts, before she realizes she has nowhere concrete, much less polite, that she'd like to go with that. "Like the kind of person you'll need that luck for." is how she recovers.

"Have a good weekend, Robyn." No formality there, no 'Agent', not even a return 'Quinn' for the Epstein bestowed on her.

Perhaps that's the point.

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