The Secret Boss


cat_icon.gif delia_icon.gif

Scene Title The Secret Boss
Synopsis Delia meets one of her employers, but doesn't know it.
Date August 18, 2010

Central Park Zoo

The five acres of the Central Park Zoo are divided into three major exhibit themes: the Polar Circle, the Rain Forest, and the Temperate Territory. It features everything from leaf-cutter ants to the ever-popular polar bears; California sea lions to colobus monkeys; the two-toed sloth to the Japanese macaque. The exhibits are always a major draw for tourists, but the zoo offers a variety of classes and programs intended to educate the public in wildlife and wildlife conservation. The associated Tisch Children's Zoo includes a petting zoo and the Wildlife Theater, as well as a variety of exhibits targeted to the younger audience.

It's a busy day, and this is the way Cat likes it, activity helps keep her from falling irretrievably into a pit of PTSD. At this particular time, just past 11:00 on a Wednesday, she's combining her seeking of April Silver with being on the way to see Gillian and her stomach demanding food. It wouldn't do to have a lot of people knowing she's looking for the Company agent turned Moab escapee from the future, and the city has so many residents. It's caused her, for now, to choose against looking for Tamara at Gun Hill where she lives with Colette and Tasha and come here instead. She's encountered Miss Brooks here at the snow leopard exhibit before, and while the odds are slim it's still possible to happen again.

The food part of this equation is expected any minute now, Cat having called the manager at Alley Cat's Chelsea branch and arranged for food to be picked up at Piccoli's Delicatessen and brought to her here. It's all been paid for, as far as the delivery courier knows, and is to be given to a five foot eight inch brunette in shorts and a Yale t-shirt.

After waiting in line at the deli for nearly an eternity, Delia finally comes out with a lidded box just the right size for strapping onto the back of a bike. Once the food is secure, she quickly unlocks the bike from its resting post and wheels into action. She's still fairly far away from the park but if traffic is stalled, she'll make it just fine.

The helmetted redhead weaves between the cars and hops along the sidewalk when unable to find the space. There's a lot of honking in her wake, but she was told it's a rather important delivery so she can't afford to be late. The contents of the box shift as she wheels around a corner, only a block or two from her final destination.

From a ways down the path, Cat might be able to hear the constant ringing of a bicycle bell. If she's looking in that direction, she'll definitely be able to see the throngs of people parting for a messenger clad in all black with blue trim. She's just a half minute ahead of schedule. The cyclist does a rather impressive footjam and g-turn to avoid hitting a woman carrying a hotdog, she's been practicing that maneuver.

When she skids to a stop in front of Cat, Delia pulls down her sunglasses and dismounts at the same time as kicking the stand. "Alley Cat Courier, you ordered lunch?"

And now comes a test of the courier's memory. The woman standing before that exhibit of large white felines is indeed five feet and eight inches in height, wearing the expected shorts and Yale shirt with hair tied into a ponytail. She turns to face Delia and in so doing is perhaps recognized as Catherine Chesterfield, in the papers here and there several months ago when her openly declared and registered evolved mother Jennifer lost election for Mayor and was assassinated just after the election. That same mayoral candidate accused by the press of being tied to Pinehearst, and whose daughter was allegedly once with the terrorist group called Pariah.

"Just in time," Cat tells Delia when she executes those maneuvers and declares herself, "thanks for being so efficient." A fifty dollar bill is pulled from a pocket and offered to her. "I don't think I saw you before," she remarks whether or not it's true, "what's your name, Miss?"

While Delia isn't in the habit of reading up in the papers or following much of the news, she was working in the ER when the news broke. Many of her colleagues were in shock and it was the talk of the unit for over a week. It also split the staff politically. The redhead balks as she hands over the lunch and takes the bill from the woman's hand.

"Uhm… Delia Ryans, ma'am." Her answer is muted and accompanied by a flush to the cheeks. "I was sorry to hear about your mom. I— " She pauses, she really doesn't have much else to say and so she offers a weak smile. "I only work the odd shifts, that's probably why you don't see me much."

Dark eyes regard the younger woman for some moments when Mother's name is invoked, Cat has a slightly haunted quality to them. Poise remains through the minor display of reaction to that name, however, this isn't an easily daunted person. "Life goes on," she provides in breaking silence, followed by a slight chuckle. "Ma'am? I'm only twenty-seven. Do I really look like a ma'am? Cat will do, or if you really have to be formal, Doctor Chesterfield." The food is taken.

Delia's blue eyes go wide and her eyebrow loft high on her forehead in surprise. "Doctor, like in … Medical doctor?" The young woman glances around quickly and then removes her helmet, displaying the frizzy red crown of curls underneath. She studies the woman for a long while, slowly taking in her entire form. "I'm studying to be a nurse right now, hoping to get into medical school eventually… but.. heh.." The small huff of laughter is as weak as her smile from earlier. As though something is stopping the young woman from actually taking that next step.

"Juris Doctor," Cat explains, "it's what the diplomas people get when they graduate from law schools say." There's a pause then as she takes time to call up whatever the employee files say about this Delia Ryans person, broken by commentary on the path of study. "It's a noble profession, medicine," she asssures. "Are you an Ivy Leaguer? Me, I'd much rather be a rock star."

Whatever is on Delia's file is somewhat limited. It has her original application with an address listed in Queens, home phone number, no cellphone. Her father, Benjamin Ryans, is listed as an emergency contact, no others. From employee evaluations it says that she shows up for work ten minutes early for every shift, does her job expediently, doesn't get more than the usual complaints from the usual grumpy customers, and is rather quiet around the people she works with. So far, it doesn't list her as registered. At the end, there's a threat of a write up unless a doctor's note is produced for abscence in the last couple of weeks. Apparently the young woman hasn't produced it yet.

"Oh… Lawyer, that's pretty awesome, rock star is better," Delia's smile is growing more. She places her hands into the pockets of her vest and rocks back on her heels. The soft biker shoes she's wearing bend easily with the contours of her feet. "I'm not in an Ivy League school though, too expensive. I'm at NYU."

"Oh." Is that disappointment in Cat's voice, that Delia isn't Ivy League, or a mark of commiseration that the red-haired courier has to endure a substandard school? Maybe both, or neither. "NYU's a solid university just the same," she offers. Nothing is let on that she knows so much about this courier in conversation with her, the tone is fairly casual.

"How many years do you have left, Delia?" Time is in short supply, but she can spare some to continue conversing.

"Two, I could test for RN right now if I wanted but I'm really looking for BSN." The young woman looks rather nervous. Her ears are burning from that one uttered syllable before the placating comment about the school she attends. Slowly, the fifty dollar bill is crushed tightly into her left hand. It makes a good blotter for palm sweat when one is nervous. The helmet hooked to her right wrist is swung lightly around as Delia's eyes sweep their surroundings. They pause at every police officer, police car, policeman on a horse or bike before moving on.

"Is something wrong, Delia?" Cat asks. Yes, she sees the nervousness in connection with persons of authority. It's perhaps amusing to her, that this young one who as far as she knows hasn't got a fifteen million dollar price on her head is skittish while she, having that bounty attached should it be discovered she was involved with the Institute raid, is cool as a cucumber. Or Antarctica.

It makes her wonder what Miss Ryans is hiding.

"N-no, nothing Doc- Cat." Another weak smile is flashed, it disappears almost as quickly as its delivered. Taking the hand out of her pocket, Delia leaves the bill inside and zips it secure as to not lose it. She swings the helmet between her hands and then places it on her head, clipping the strap under her chin to fasten it. "I should get going though, I might get called for more deliveries." So far the radio on her shoulder hasn't so much as made a peep. It isn't the heat of the day that's giving the glow of perspiration on her forehead though, it's not that hot and she's had plenty of time to cool off from her ride.

"Of course," Cat answers with a nod, "it's not good of me to hold you up and delay things for other customers. Bike safely," she recommends as the bag of food is moved to her other hand and she seems about to turn away herself.

Once her back is to the redhead the thought process goes on with wondering what the courier is concerned about, and specifically requesting her for future deliveries of this kind is decided upon along with pondering the economics of providing couriers with motor scooters. It really must suck, going all around the city on pedal power.

But it's also good, very good, to be the secret boss.

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