The State Of Denmark


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Scene Title The State of Denmark
Synopsis Elaine suspects that something's rotten and seeks help.
Date August 28, 2010

The Rock Cellar

A comfortable place, located in the basement of 14 East 4th Street. The red brick walls are covered with memorabilia from various icons of rock and places in rock history, creating a feel similar to that of a Hard Rock Cafe.

The left wall has two bars separated by swinging doors which lead to and from the kitchen. Directly across from the entrance is a two foot high stage with all the equipment needed for acts to perform there. The right wall has three doors marked as restrooms: two for use by women and one by men.

Thirty square feet of open space for dancing and standing room is kept between the stage and the comfortable seating placed around tables which fill the remainder of the Cellar.

The lighting here is often kept dim for purposes of ambience, and when performers are onstage the place is loud enough to make conversation difficult. Just inside the door is a podium where location staff check IDs and stamp the hands of those under twenty-one with a substance visible under UV lights at the two bars and by devices the servers carry. On the podium's front is a sign with big black letters that just about explain it all: If You Don't Like Rock 'N' Roll, You're Too Late Now!

10:00 am, Saturday. The twenty-eighth day of August, in fact. Two years to the day since she was so very new to Nuked York City and had wandered into Piccoli's Delicatessen with a guitar over one shoulder and a backpack over the other. Cat is seated at her customary table in this place with a stack of newspapers nearby and a few books on things involving science. One concerns the operation of a machine. Coffee and orange juice are also at hand, as is a plate of breakfast foods.

The Cellar itself is mostly empty, a few members of the staff are going about preparations to open for the day. The cook is in the kitchen, servers are placing chairs back on the floor, a bartender is taking inventory and stocking up.

Cat's mind is adrift as she waits for Elaine Darrow to arrive, recalling that day two years past and her first meeting with a person involved with less than legal organizations.

A television within the deli is showing the first item of a commercial break, a political ad which boils down to 'elect me, not the other guy I can fix New York and deal with the Evolved'. A quiet snort escapes Cat when the ad concludes. Her eyes roll. "A well-regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed." The words are spoken in a mutter under her breath; moments later her sandwich is lifted and bitten into.

The mutter doesn't pass unnoticed, and Grace's attention focuses on the other woman, head tilted just a touch. "Is that the solution to politicians, then?" she asks, words carefully enunciated to make up for the harsh gravel of her voice. The tone of the query is difficult to identify, but Grace's expression seems more amused than not.

She doesn't answer immediately, caught by the question in mid-bite. Cat takes her time to chew carefully and swallow first. "If it has to be. That amendment isn't really about militias, it's about rebellion and having the means to carry it off. Constitutionally speaking, that's the best way to consider Evolved abilities. They're weapons, which they've every right to keep and bear."

Grace can wait for the answer, and she does, taking an idle sip of her water. "Rebellion is all well and good," she replies, having no argument with that point. One hand lifts to indicate the street beyond the deli; while it is in good shape, the gesture is meant to draw attention to the ruined city beyond. "But does the Second Amendment extend to atom bombs?"

"The answers are never easy or simple," Cat replies with her hand on the bottle of Pepsi. "Would you lock someone up simply because that person might be able to do what happened here?" She takes a healthy pull from it, and proceeds to bite into that sandwich again.

The fact of her taking this trip down Panmnesia Lane has her staring at a wall, seeming not very much with the here and now.

Slipping into the Rock Cellar, Elaine shifts the strap of her purse on her shoulder, footsteps carefully carrying her towards the other woman. "Good, more coffee." Clearly she's already had a cup or two, but it's a good indication—why exactly does one drink more than a few cups of coffee? She moves to take a seat, no nervousness in her at the moment. No, she seems more focused than anything.

Movement nearby, in fact Elaine crossing in front of her, breaks the reverie Cat was embarked upon. Brown eyes blink twice, then settle on her. "Elaine," she greets, "morning." Nothing at all says it's a good one; what with April still unfound, a Redhouse to speak with, Ferry applicants to vet, paintings to interpret, a Russian teenager to meet with, needing brain scan from Kaylee, working to complete a special compass, get the formula for negation gas, and so many other things above and beyond mundane business matters to be addressed.

"Something seems on your mind."

"Yes." Elaine takes a moment to settle into her seat, purse set to the side as she folds her hands gently on the table. "I know this is kind of odd…" She pauses, taking a moment to consider her words. "I need some help. At least, I think I do."

"I'm listening," Cat tells the redhead evenly. Interest shows on her features, of a mild sort. Fingers reach for her cup, she lifts and drinks from it.

Elaine drums her fingers against the table for a brief moment. "It's about Magnes. I'm… perhaps I'm reading too much into this, or perhaps I'm just being a paranoid girlfriend, but I can't just ignore this." She rubs her neck. "And honestly, I wasn't sure who to ask, but I'm pretty sure you have connections. I'm sure you'd know who to talk to, at least, so I just ask that you hear me out."

Her head inclines in a nod, the coffee cup placed back on the table. Nothing to indicate what Cat's personal thoughts regarding Magnes Varlane or Elaine's concerns is shown on her features. There's just that calm businesslike demeanor which shows she is, as stated prior, listening. "Go on," she invites.

"Right. So… we all know Magnes has a tendency to run out and play hero. He just came back after coming very, very close to dying and he seemed to realize, when he came back, that it wasn't fair to me. Especially not telling me everything. So Magnes decided to start talking and tell me about stuff he hadn't let me in on. He was letting me know what was going on." Elaine pauses, seeming to try and skim her statements down to the most relevant. "So, in summary, if there was something going on with Magnes, he'd tell me. I honestly believe that."

"He clued you in one some things," Cat acknowledges, "and you believe if something were going on with him, he'd tell you, yet… you're here." Her voice in saying so is one intended to encourage continuance, to state subtly she believes there's more to this story. "What exactly did he let you in on, Elaine?"

Silent again, she keeps brown eyes on the redhead's face while gripping her coffee again.

"Well, he hasn't told me all about his life. I don't think he's told me anything major other than his story about saving the world. The point is, he trusts me and doesn't wanna keep anything back from me." Elaine purses her lips. "So I got home from work yesterday and I found a note from Magnes saying he'd won a ticket to Dragoncon, but just one ticket, and that he'd be gone for the weekend. It's his handwriting. He won't pick up his phone, but I called his job and they say he went to some sci-fi thing in Atlanta, but… what I don't get is…" She pauses. "If all that's true, then why did he make me a costume to go with him?"

"That doesn't make sense," Cat agrees, "he probably had ideas of you being dressed like Wonder Woman." The coffee cup is left where it is, brain being applied to the situation at hand. "When and where did you last see him, Elaine?"

"Batgirl, actually. And he'd made the costumes as a pair. His costume and my costume. I know Magnes. If he only had one ticket, why wouldn't he take me anyways and try and find some way to get another? He's got money, it's not like he couldn't afford it." Elaine purses her lips. "We'd been talking about going Thursday night. That's why he made the costumes. He wanted to take me, and then he goes and leaves like that? Something's up. If he was off doing something secretive, though, he would have told me. He's not keeping that stuff from me anymore. So if this really seems fishy and he didn't tell me what's going on? He's in over his head or in trouble or something. Maybe it's just a hunch, but something's off about it."

She pauses. "I saw him Friday morning, maybe just before 8am. I was leaving for work early and he was getting up to go to work too. We live at Siann Hall, in the Bronx. When I got home from work, the note was there."

"I've some contacts to approach, people who're good at this sort of thing, have certain talents they can bring to the party. I won't give you names," Cat tells her, "it's too soon to have you knowing that much. Most of the things I'd tell you, what he's already told you, are probably hard to believe." Pausing then, her brows furrow.

"I'd have to research DragonCon," she admits, "but if he or someone else went to the trouble of setting up a cover, might they have arranged for it to seem he was actually at the convention? You mentioned a ticket, it seems you mean to get into the floor, not just for travel there."

A napkin is then used, Cat writes a phone number and a name on it. Rebecca Nakano. "This woman is a private detective, she's also a retrocog. To use her talent, she needs a mirror. If you've got a full length one you can put where the note was left, that'd be best. Readings could be done there, and at other places in the area. If you need, I can pay her fee."

"I might check with her. I'm not sure what roads to pursue at this point." Elaine lets out a bit of a sigh. "I'm not sure what the real issue is or what's wrong… if he comes back after the weekend, I suppose I'll have to feel it out then, I just wanted someone to know, in case it gets bad or something."

"She can possibly tell you what was going on there when the note was written and left," Cat recommends, "let you know things like how he looked at the time. I'll be in touch." She rises then, reaching for the books and newspapers. "I'm going to start having a look around and see what turns up, if anyone's seen him." Then the plate of food and her cup of coffee are picked up.

Looking puzzled, but also like she's got someplace to be soon, Cat makes her way out to 4th Street.

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