The Tide Rises


tamara_icon.gif veronica3_icon.gif

Scene Title The Tide Rises
Synopsis Two allies commiserate in the last moment of calm before the storm.
Date November 8, 2011

The Commonwealth Arcology — Park

In recent weeks, Tamara's preferred wardrobe has veered away from dresses, as if in some recognition of the weather outside the subterranean and resolutely climate-controlled arcology. Today, she wears an olive-green shirt under a vest of similar but darker and more muted shade, along with charcoal pants and gray sneakers. Her hair looks to have been recently cut, cropped to somewhat above shoulder-length, and for once actually neatly brushed out. Perhaps through the intervention of someone else.

Someone — probably a different someone — has also given the seer a clipboard, paper, and a fountain pen of all things. For all its innocuous-seeming nature, the metal nib is angled, sharp, and likely on a list somewhere of things the arcology's wards should not have. And yet Tamara has it as she stands here in the midst of the park, in a particular space defined by its shrubbery, its distance from the fountain, the paucity of sight lines from overhead walks.

The suspicious might make something of that, if they ascribed to the young woman forethought beyond the simple fact of foresight. For his part, Tamara's shadow has seated himself on an artfully-placed and altogether fake rock, the practiced neutrality of his face belying complete and total boredom to anyone who looks closely enough. He diligently keeps one eye on his charge, but really — she's just standing there making lines on paper while staring at songbirds.

To say she's drawing the creatures would be a decided overstatement.

To the untrained eye, Veronica’s just very busy today. But to someone who notices, who can see beneath the surface of appearances, she’s nervous. There’s a slight tension in her eyes and a tendency to look a little harder at things that she might not on other days. Perhaps it’s this that draws her eye to Tamara in that spot.

It’s also possible Tamara put herself there knowing that Veronica would see her there. Vee doesn’t pretend to understand how the precognitives work. In the case of Tamara Brooks, she’s just glad it does and in her favor. Or so she hopes.

She moves in that direction, lifting a brow curiously. “Someone upgraded you from finger paints, I see,” she says lightly. If she were trying to actually do the job she is being paid to do, someone might think it’s her way of asking who broke protocol. But of course, Veronica doesn’t really care about the pen.

The seer's shadow straightens as they become no longer alone, his expression shifting subtly into a more completely professional mien. He gives the new arrival a brief, courteous acknowledgement.

Tamara listens with one ear to the security chief's approach, turns her head to cast an over-the-shoulder glance at the older woman. Smiles faintly, an expression more bitter (or to be precise, rueful) than sweet. "You can call it that," she allows, looking down towards the pen now held idle, artificial daylight glinting back from its metal tip. "Paints are… uncomplicated."

There's a difference in the seer's manner, subtle, but perhaps more apparent for Veronica's lack of familiarity with Tamara. Something that hints at the same manner of tension held by the agent herself. A shift in Tamara's posture, the placement of her feet and the angle of her torso, implicitly invites her companion to close the rest of the distance and come up beside her.

"Birds are uncomplicated, too. I might like to be one, instead."

Veronica, after a quick nod for the guard, moves closer at that invitation, dark eyes scanning Tamara’s face and eyes, flicking left to right, as if to read them, if they were a book. She smiles at the words from the precognitive, then looks up at the birds, maybe trying to see if there’s a message there that Tamara wants her to see.

“Uncomplicated sounds very welcome to me. I might like to be one, too,” she says, a small smile tipping her mouth up, though it doesn’t quite reach her eyes. She glances off in the direction she’d been walking, like she might be too busy for this small talk, but she stays — after all, Tamara has given her a way in when she couldn’t find one, for her partner.

“I wonder if a bird’s life seems uncomplicated to the bird,” she adds. Somehow, without any real humor to tone the words, it seems deeply rhetorical. “How are you?” she asks — which is not rhetorical.

Tamara tips her head slightly under Veronica's scrutiny, seeming faintly bemused — though that sentiment doesn't reach her eyes, no more than amusement touches those of her companion. Both of them are gripped by concerns far deeper than such fleeting ephemeralities. Faced with the rhetorical, the seer lets it pass her by; faced with a simple question that is in truth but the tip of an iceberg's worth of complicated, her expression twists into a wry grimace.

Gaze flicking towards an indeterminate distance, Tamara spares a moment to evaluate possibilities, the concepts she could express, the words needed to frame them. A flick of the fountain pen dismisses them all; too much effort, too little return, and above all they take too much time. Instead, she looks back to Veronica, leans in to press a light, chaste kiss against the older woman's cheek. "I am how I need to be."

Tamara draws back to meet her companion's gaze; if there are unshed tears in her eyes, in the crookedness of her smile, they are not reflected in the seer's voice. "You will," the sybil says softly, deliberately, "do fine."

The certainty in that statement is a flat-out lie — so many things could go wrong this day — but equivocation serves no good purpose, neither for the seer nor for Veronica Sawyer.

The kiss lifts Veronica’s brows upward and she smiles, a less feigned thing than the one she has passed around to her coworkers in the halls today.

“That about sums it up,” murmurs Veronica to the first answer the unexpected accomplice gives her. Her smile fades at the next volley of words, her brows knitting together. She looks like she has many questions, but she instead swallows them back, glancing down the hall again, but less like she’s busy and wants to move, this time. More like she’s afraid of what lies that way.

“I hope that’s true,” Veronica says instead, before settling on just one question. “Do you have any advice?” she asks, lips curving slightly, because she seems to know that it’s probably a futile question. If she gets an answer, it probably won't be the kind she seeks.

Tamara tips her head the other way as Veronica's smile dims, as her attention flickers elsewhere. The seer can't discern anything of the soon-to-be-former security chief's thoughts, but she can read the fractal pattern of potential considered and then discarded, the echoes of questions that could be but then are not asked. Possibility coalesces down to one, and she reaches her free end out to lay fingertips against the side of the older woman's face.

"When trouble came knocking," the sybil says, her eyes dark, her expression somber, "you let it in."

A moment later, it's Tamara's attention that turns aside, directed to the distance beyond her companion. "The tide rises." She steps back, refocusing on Vee. "Time for everyone to be useful," she says, the timbre of her voice implying farewell… perhaps with an undertone of regret.

The seer turns, walks away. Recognizing impending departure, her shadow makes to rise — only to topple over halfway through, helped along by sudden action on his charge's part. Her victim's sprawl masked on one side by shrubbery and on the other side by fake stone, Tamara tosses the clipboard down and coolly relieves him of security badge and handgun, tucking both into her own vest before striding away, moving with swift purpose but nothing so unseemly — so attention-getting — as haste.

Abandoned, the hapless guard makes wet, choking noises around the fountain pen stuck through his throat… until at last he makes no more noises at all.

Veronica’s dark eyes narrow a little in confusion at the fortune-cookie-esque “advice” given to her. It’s probably about as apt a summary of Veronica Sawyer’s existence that she’s not sure if it’s advice or admonishment. But she asked for advice, so it’s likely she’ll heed it — when the time comes.

“Be careful,” Veronica murmurs to Tamara’s retreating form, the earnestness of her husky whisper conveying the fondness she feels for the odd girl. What comes next is utterly unexpected — and is the signal she needs.

She taps a radio comm hidden behind the veil of her long hair. “Time to move.”

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