The Waterdale


jaiden_icon.gif ygraine2_icon.gif

Scene Title The Waterdale
Synopsis Arranging an exhibition in support of Survivors, while trying not to worry too much about the DHS. Or the Sylars.
Date March 25 2011

The Waterdale Gallery and Galen's Bistro

Today, travel is being conducted in a distinct lack of style - but the cripple-wagon's disabled parking permit can have its uses at times when touring Manhattan. As a result, Ygraine is presently acting as chauffeur, bringing the boxy little car to a halt outside a heavily-renovated former warehouse. Modified though the car is to allow everything to be done one-handed, it still takes a little time for the Briton to shut everything down, disconnect her seatbelt, and then clamber out - giving Jaiden plenty of time in which to step out and survey the surrounding area.

On the periphery of the Bomb's blast zone, virtually every building here suffered at least superficial damage, before being abandoned, exposed to looting, and then suffering neglect before owners or developers moved in once again. As a result, the street has the clean, empty, quiet of somewhere still returning to life - the former vibrancy of what had once been an up-and-coming neighbourhood now a dull hum of low-level activity.

Though the cold, white sun of the chilly day shimmers off reflective services, one such hint of an effort to return to prosperity is provided by the shadowy hint of movement behind the gleamingly new glass doors of the erstwhile warehouse.

"That", Ygraine says as she kicks her door shut, and settles her overcoat more securely around her shoulders and over her slung arm, "is the Waterdale Gallery. From what their business manager said, their development loan application will be helped if they can prove that they're active and holding events, so they're willing to offer us a 'charity' rate in return for getting people through their doors. I'm thinking that they're our best bet, if we want to keep the exhibition up for more than a day or two."

For the past few days and nights, Jaiden has been going through the memories of the Dome - sorting through the pictures time and time again to pick the best ones for printing, trying to get in contact with the people he wrote down to get their stories, and even sitting down with a recorder to get the stories of a few survivors on record via mp3. It was only when Ygraine called this morning, when he was just out of the shower with half a cup of coffee in him, that he realized how soon this show was going to be.

He did complain a bit when Ygraine suggested she drive - after all, the handicapped placard could be moved from one car to the other, but despite his protests, Jaiden found himself wedged into the CrippleTron 5000, bouncing through the city toward the unknown destination that Ygraine had them going to.

It's with a critical eye that Jaiden gets out of the car and looks around the area, particularly the gallery that Ygraine has selected for the Survivor's show. A charity rate is good, and the fact that they can have the show up for more than a day or two is a bonus that will stretch their budget for this a lot further than he had imagined. "Depending on how much they charge for the space, we could keep the show open for two weeks." His hands are shoved deep into the pockets of his jacket, hat pulled over his ears to keep them warm from the breeze, the brim keeping the sun out of his eyes. "I've budgeted about $10,000 total for this show - seemed about right for printing, food, rental of the space, and advertising."

"Adelaide'll be chipping in, but she'd like us to cost things before she tells us how much she'll pay", Ygraine says with a grin, before peering up and down the street. "Extra cash then goes to make it better, rather than us working to the limit of a budget. Which… since we're burning people's savings seemed like a good idea to me. Make sure that we have a reserve available to deal with emergencies, or to extend the booking if it does really well. And it also gives us the chance to stick with wholly-free entry and a donation-only policy…"

Stepping into the shadows of the building, she frowns slightly, then turns to point. "Around the corner that way, I think, is a bistro the manager said they'd recommend we work with for any catering. Another local business trying to get on its feet. And likely to be keen to be flexible and helpful. I've no idea if their food's any good at all, but I thought we could drop in to give them a try after viewing the gallery."

Jaiden nods at that, grinning to Ygraine at the thought of the benefactor of Liberty helping out, as she should, but not just by throwing fists full of money at a problem like so many places do when there's a problem they need to take care of. His boots scuff as he steps around the front of the car and on to the sidewalk, giving it and the surrounding buildings a look. "We'll do some exploration around the neighborhood if we decide to do this here. The more local support we can get, the better. A coffee shop, a bistro, volunteers to help run tours through the show." Jaiden grins, bouncing on his toes. "This is going to do a lot of good for the Survivors, for the City, and hopefully get Liberty on the map, noticed by the right people."

"I confess that I was hoping to get at least a little interest at Remi's party", Ygraine says dryly, pat-patting the pocket of her waistcoat to be sure that she's got those still-unfamiliar car-keys with her, before starting towards the doors. For once, she's quite willing to let Jaiden play the gentleman and open them for her, however.

"The more local help we can get the better, certainly, but I fear that we won't have the weather to literally throw open the doors and invite all comers - not unless things heat up a lot. But we can certainly see what we can do. One regenerating area might well be willing to take pity on people in need when they're not in competition and it can get them some good publicity…."

"I did mention it before everything went to hell, to a few well-dressed blokes who seemed to have some interest in it, but more than that I wasn't able to do. We might want to give the New York Times an option to have a preview to, hopefully, get written up in their style section the sunday before. People plan their lives off that bloody thing." Jaiden pulls the door open to the warehouse and bows, letting Ygraine enter before following her inside himself.

The smell of paint and drywall mud still lingers, the owners recently finishing their renovations to the place. Jaiden stands there and looks around, lifting his camera to take a picture, to imagine this place with his pictures papering the walls. "Do you think we'll have to change the lighting up? Make it darker, or do you think having it bright and having everything held up to the light of truth might be better?"

"Apparently, they have 'an array of lighting options' for us to admire", Ygraine murmurs dryly, peering around with interest. "Do you think that we could really interest them? Actually, I suppose so. At least enough to send someone along and find out if we're interesting. Your credentials should help a lot with that, to be sure…."

It's why Jaiden brought the portfolio after all. Tucked beneath his arm is a zippered leather portfolio with some of his older work as well as a few of the photos to show the gallery director if he really wants to see his work. "Let's get the dog and pony show started, then, and see if this place is something we want to work with."

Galen's Bistro

Some time later, Ygraine sighs contentedly as she settles against the padded back of the bench seat on her side of the table, offering the staff and few other customers - or perhaps the world in general - a beatific smile… before wincing slightly, and hastily squirming around a little to better settle her arm. Her heavy overcoat has already been shrugged out of and folded onto the seat behind her, leaving her in that embroidered waistcoat that has become the main element of her 'formal' attire of late.

"Well, the cappuccino smells good, at least", she says with a grin, reaching for the white-topped mug resting on the table. "So… other than their understandable concerns over a Humanis First incident, do you think we've got enough sorted out with…." She pauses to consult a business card. "Mr Karapetyan? I'm going to have to learn to get that right. Or just call him Artem. The lovely Melanie's name, I suspect we'll both remember rather more easily."

It did take a little negotiating, both on Jaiden's part and on the part of the gallery owner, who wanted to charge them an arm and a leg for basic things. Jaiden couldn't fault him, of course, since he was trying to make money to stay open, but with some delicate negotiation and the understanding that this could only be good for his burgeoning gallery, the pair were given exactly what they requested at a lower price than they thought they could get with the option to extend the show for as long as they were willing to pay. Jaiden's jacket is hanging on the side of the chair that's not being used at the table they've claimed, along with his portfolio which was shuffled through and commented on by the director, the lovely Melanie (with that really tight top of hers) and one of the other people looking at the space for a show they were planning. Jaiden never felt more like he was under a microscope.

"Smelling good and tasting good are two separate properities entirely." His own cup sits on a plate before him, dusted with cinnamon, steaming gently through the cap of foamed milk. "But the machine they're using is top of the line, and the barista seemed to be someone not being paid minimum wage to sling coffee, so I think we'll be okay. And I did get their catering menu, so we can decide how extravagant - or not - that we want to get for the show."

"Even if we just paid them to cook a selection of food here and have it carted around in boxes on the night, it should be better than we could manage by most other methods", Ygraine muses, delaying the rest of her response in favour of acquiring a cappuccino moustache. "Mmmmm. That is rather nice. So… how many courses should we pig out on, in the name of research?"

"Well…." Jaiden flips open, or rather flips over the menu, which is printed on a laminated sheet of paper decorated with coloured pencil beneath the plastic. "I didn't have breakfast - only the cappuccino here, so any amount of 'sampling' that we'd be willing to do, I'll certainly do." Jaiden grins, taking a sip of his, pausing to savor the flavor, and sighing as he swallows. Good stuff. "It might be a good idea to donate any leftovers to a local food bank or homeless shelter. No sense in anything going to waste."

"I think that most of the homeless got rounded up long since", Ygraine says ruefully, thinking of certain events at homeless camps, "but there are always some in the big cities. And this one has a lot more ruins that are likely to be… significant to people than most others will. So… yes. Good idea. As for food now? I think I'll settle for soup and a main course. But you might talk me into helping you sample a dessert, I suppose…."

Dessert, at the bottom of the menu, is decadent, with cheesecakes, crepes, bengets, and other horribly bad for you but oh-so-good dishes that can be sampled at the purchaser's whim, Jaiden scanning to see if anything piques his fancy. The menu does get set down, Jaiden ordering quite like Ygraine does - soup and a simple main course of a light fish with artichoke hearts and a lemon butter sauce. "It'll be terrible to prompt you into having dessert, won't it?" Jaiden teases, taking another sip of his drink.

Ygraine sticks her tongue out at Jaiden, then chuckles. "I have pretty much put back on all the weight I should, after the Dome. I'm still lighter than I was, but… weeks without proper exercise and with one arm and shoulder doing nothing will be costing me a lot of muscle. And I'm so looking forward to putting that back on and getting properly into shape again. But I'm figuring that I can probably let myself have some kind of treat in return for a productive morning - and as a bribe before going for my interview this afternoon."

"That's today, is it?" Jaiden sighs and rubs a face over his hand. "Fair warning going in, they know about Remi hiding her talent as well as she did, and are really just looking for the guy who caused all the problems." Jaiden is keeping it rather vague just to be sure listeners can't pick up things that need to be kept quiet. "And don't worry. Once the doctor gives you an all-clear, you and I will work up a nice sweat. Running, exercising, all that stuff. I even have a few things I can do with water to give you more resistance. Light weight but lots of work."

Ygraine laughs softly. "I've done water work in the past for leg injuries, but I suppose that you can make it a lot easier to do with something for the arm…. At the moment, about all I can do is use a stationary bike - and that, not flat out, since I can't grip the bars - and some lower-body work, so long as it doesn't twist me around too much and have me clench the bicep…"

"As for the interview?" She offers a careful shrug. "I'm kind of scared they'll decide that I kicked the whole thing off. By sticking the invisible object to my glass, and unmasking him. I don't think that'd be a fair conclusion. Probably. But… heck. It's not too long since I got told that my actions in the Dome were 'a bit stupid' and had 'stoked the fires of conflict'. So… I'm just a teensy bit nervous."

"Don't worry about that. They're not going to blame the whole mess on you. You saw him…them….going for Remi. Wanting to do something horrid to her, and from what I've heard from people who have dealt with him, it's not pleasant to those who he decides to target." Jaiden sits back, wishing, for a moment, he was in paris with a cigarette, looking out over the Eiffel tower. "My water work involves water that is denser than normal water, and pushes back, making you use all of those little stabilizing muscles in there to get stronger."

Ygraine winces at the thought of all those little muscles doing anything just at the moment, but sighs and nods. "I love physiotherapy. It's so much fun", she grumbles. "And I honestly didn't see a vast amount of what followed. I was too busy darting towards safety, and leaving the rest of you behind."

"I'll make it tolerable, at least. Don't worry. It'll be okay. Hard at first, but then easier as you get stronger." Jaiden looks back for the waitress who took their order, trying to gauge how soon she'll be back, turning to talk to Ygraine when he sees they have time. "And that's all you saw, which is the good thing. When she interviewed me, she asked me basic information - my name and powers and such, and asked for my take on the events of that evening. That's it."

"Well, I suspect I'll be asked some questions you weren't. Such as what the heck the French-speaking stranger said to get Remi to wander off with her away from us", Ygraine observes dryly. "I'm just… worried. If people can take what we did in the Dome as being actively stupid and bad, then… it'd be so very much easier to paint what I did at the party in a bad light. But, hey. I'm a part-recovered paranoiac who's had recent relapses. Worrying's one of the things I'm good at."

"Of course, of course." Jaiden shifts a little in his seat again, looking Ygraine over with a smile. "But worrying does about the same as trying to solve a math problem by juggling tennis balls - it does absolutely no good."

"Actually", Ygraine wags a finger at Jaiden, "that sort of thing can help a lot. Very often you wind up focused upon the problem itself and how insoluble it is, rather than being open to an answer. So doing something that requires a different kind of concentration can help quite a lot. But… contrary to the myth you'll hear a lot, especially on this side of the Pond, positive thinking isn't everything. A variety of tests have shown that optimists are better at seizing unexpected opportunities, but pessimists are substantially better at formulating successful plans."

"Well then." Jaiden chuckles as the waitress comes by. "You be the pessimist, I'll be the optimist, and we'll take over the world together."

Ygraine snorts, then chuckles and shakes her head, picking up her mug so that the food can be laid down, warmly thanking the woman before offering the coffee a rueful look. "Not sure you'll go with the soup, you know", she murmurs, "but you're too good to pass up."

"But miss Ygraine" Jaiden puts on a high-pitched voice, leaning down to talk as the coffee. "That's what I'm here for - after dinner! Yummy pies and cakes!" Jaiden leans up and laughs, nodding to the waitress and ordering a couple of glasses of water.

One brow arching, Ygraine offers Jaiden a look. "I think that we have the title for your next exhibition", she observes, tone bone-dry. "Jaiden Mortlock's Yummy Pies and Cakes. A monochromatic celebration of cullinary extravagances."

Jaiden, the pie whisperer. He chuckles and straightens, putting his napkin into his lap and starting into his fish, eyes closed to savor the flavor. "You really need to learn how to be silly sometime, Ygraine. Talking cakes are funny, and if you don't think they are, you're just wrong." He grins. "Care to try some of this fish?"

"Talking cakes?" Ygraine snorts, then chuckles. "I think that might be bringing back dim memories of a Muppets episode, or something…. And no, I'm all right, thanks. If I'm to fit in some of your dessert, I'd best leave room…."

"Some childhood television show I probably only caught while burning the candle at both ends due to jet lag." Jaiden takes a bite of his fish. "I was thinking foodstuff should be small, easy to handle. Little sandwiches, fruit, and the like."

"That raises the rather obvious question of when we hold it. Lunch-time at a weekend will be a rather different kind of event to after work on a week day", Ygraine muses. "But keeping things simple so that the focus is on the display would be wise. We don't need to feed people cold baked beans from a can to provide an 'authentic experience' of the Dome, or anything, but… sumptuous extravagance would certainly seem to be missing the point. Or making a very unsubtle one."

I wasn't thinking we should have a feast that puts a rapper's wedding to shame, but a few bites, here and there, might be a good thing to have." The times to hold it, though, may be good. "Food for the opening should, I think, be the only time we provide it. Soft open for the paper a couple of days before, official opening…thursday night? Run through the weekend and we'll see Monday how the numbers were to see if we continue?"

Ygraine nods. "Provide water, during the whole of it, to make people feel more comfortable. And help to keep them there longer. But food only for the opening - and perhaps anyone who shows up as a Survivor. But we can sort out buying them a meal here, easily enough, I'd imagine. But… evening, post-work. We should be able to sort things out with this place quite readily. Likely to be one of their busier times, but if we're mostly going for cold food, it can be prepared in the afternoon and already round at the gallery for us."

"That's good thinking. The gallery did have a few large-sized refrigerators in the back for storage, so as long as we can fit that sort of thing in there, she'll be apples." Jaiden pulls an australian slang term out of his back pocket with a grin, his fish finished now. "The thing we definitely need to make people coming aware of is that we're not doing this for profit. A declaration that all donations will go to support the Survivor's help group."

"'Apples', huh?", Ygraine asks with a laugh. "But yes. I'm hoping that if we can keep the costs down, we can make this entirely a… freebie at Liberty's expense. Well, yours and Adelaide's. Perhaps mine, too, if Remi pays me. Seeming as if we're professional and able to sponsor other groups might get Liberty more attention itself."

"The first thing you'll need to do is apply for tax-exempt status for Liberty - that'll really make it seem like a 'real' organization in the eyes of some big donors." Jaiden nods to the waitress as she takes away his finished plate, making a note that he will need to tip her well for her excellent service.

"Oh, I believe that everything should be in order there", Ygraine assures her companion. "I certainly hope so, given the amount of time we spent on setting it up. Admittedly, I was more concerned about making sure that the trust-fund was bomb-proof, but Liberty should have all the appropriate permissions. It's Survivors I'm a bit more worried about, in that regard. It's rather more on the fly, and I'm not quite sure how best to handle that. Keep it wholly unregistered and utterly voluntary, or…?"

"I think it might be best, all things considered, to be a little like Alcoholics Anonymous. If you were in the dome, you can come, but we don't confirm it. First names only, no sign-in, no registration, no ID required. Sure, at the meetings we'll say that there were 10 people, or twelve, and the psychologists and such that we draft into helping us we'll make it to where we don't know the real last name of whoever we're sending to them for counseling." Jaiden takes a sip of his drink, waiting for the dessert course. "Once I'm done here, with this, my notes of survivors are getting encrypted, the originals locked in a safety deposit box somewhere far, far from here."

Ygraine nods pensively. "Formalise the informal nature we already have. Yeah, I think that would make sense. And if we can get some actual funding then we can certainly look at providing professional help for people adjusting to it all. Certainly, I'm hoping that the… stop-gap cover for immediate needs that we're presently doing will die down pretty rapidly, once people actually get settled into new homes. Though I'd like to keep the structure in place. I'm hoping that once they're ready to, people'll be allowed to move out of the armed camp."

"That place is a pressure cooker." Jaiden says with a soft sigh. "With the elements in the military that don't like our kind, and people around, it's only a matter of time before something bad happens." Exactly what bad entails, Jaiden doesn't elaborate, simply sitting back with a sigh. "And it's our job, with Liberty, to help prevent that. People, I like to think, are basically good…."

"I'm a deeply cynical idealist", Ygraine says with a smile, darting a glance to the bench beside her to be sure that her little white noise generator is in operation again. "I'm a firm believer in redemption, in the requirement to give people a chance to change for the better. I wholly support giving people the chance to be free. But my opinion of how things are likely to turn out is overall pretty low. Most people never even try to think independently, let alone to take full responsibility for their actions and their lives. They just buy into the prevalent memetic coding, and toddle along through life doing what they think is 'normal' or whatever feels convenient. What we need to appeal to is a tiny subset of the overall population, that both thinks and gives a damn. And we can hope to trigger a few more into realising that they have the power to act to make things better. Even if it's just by tossing us a promise of ten bucks, that might never be called in. If we can get one in every hundred thousand people to do that or more, we'll have ourselves the money required to actually stand a hope of making a big difference. But even if we can't… just by existing and by putting ideas out there, we're at least making it harder for those who want to maintain the thoughtless march down the drain to keep the populace herded along as docile sheep."

"From your lips to God's ears, Ygraine." Jaiden lifts his cup in a small toast, taking a sip as the waitress brings a horribly fattening selection of desserts - creme cakes, cheesecake, tarts and other sweet delights that pack a massive amount of Calories into their delectable crusty frames. "Someone like you, and Elisabeth too, are helping me keep my head up in an altogether dreary world. Thank you." He smiles and takes a sip.

Ygraine chuckles softly, raising a brow. "Most people get rather upset if I start talking about the general populace as idiots", she says dryly. "But thank you. I… try to find problems so that I can fix or forestall them. It's all too easy for that to turn into excuses for inaction, but…. well. I'm trying not to let me demons rule me."

"You have to remember where I come from and what I've seen in my life. Too often the populace just wants everything to go back to some semblance of normalcy and is very complacent as long as they aren't affected by the changes. It's always someone else - the poor, the rich, the immigrant, the religious, the evolved - not them. Our society has started to become more introverted. Getting out in public is becoming more difficult since meeting online is easier. Relationships span the globe, but several of them have no physical contact between the two." Jaiden sighs, shifting a bit in his seat and looking out the front of the store where night is starting to fall, darkness creeping into the city like a thief. "I'm a guy. I see a problem, I want to fix it instinctively. I honestly think that this could be a good first few steps."

Ygraine chuckles softly. "Many people have argued that the growth of globalisation - especially of global telecommunications and real-time superfical interaction, be it with news or game servers, or whatever - is destroying the very fabric of community. My own researches have led me to believe that the growing easy of travel and communication is helping to preserve older identities in ways that wouldn't have been possible a short time before, as well as offering options for the creation of new ones. My hope is that even if we literally had just one in every hundred thousand people actively supporting us, the distances between them would be largely irrelevant. That we could mobilise those thirty thousand people into a significant force. And once you have a visible, significant presence, then you can start to hope for hangers-on and casual support to become more significant…."

"Well…." Jaiden chuckles. "I think I may have mashed together a few concepts into one chaotic miasma of snark. My apologies." A bit of cheesecake is scooped up and sampled. "mmm, good stuff." He swallows and smiles. "A journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step."

Ygraine chuckles, ducking her head. "Caring about the minutiae is what I do. Whether it was obsessing about finding a way to knock five hundredths off my lap time so that I could hit the next level in competition, or… looking for specific nuances and hints of motivation and emotion in people's choice and timing of words…. Most people don't even have a clue what I'm on about when I get going, let alone how on Earth anyone might think of it as remotely important. The modalities of identity formation fascinate me. But that's just another way in which I'm decidedly odd, I know."

"Should I worry that I'm keeping up with you, as far as things like this go?" Jaiden grins, gesturing with a fork loaded with a bite of the creme cake. "You really should try this, you know."

Ygraine offers one of her careful shrugs, then leans forward to snare a bit, apparently taking Jaiden fully at his word. "I've never really geeked out at you", she admits sheepishly. "Though I've come close a few times. I know some people think I lecture. Or hector. Or just rant and condemn."

"I look forward to that, honestly. It'd be like seeing the Ygraine that isn't shown to the rest of the world for a time. The closest I think I've managed to draw you to that point was when I was doctoring your arm in the dome." Jaiden lets out a soft breath. "It seems like it was ages ago, but looking at the calendar, and working on this gallery showing, makes me realize how short the time has been since it all happened."

"Heh. Babbling about Baron Larrey was… well. It was relevant at least. Though thankfully I didn't need to be a recipient of his advances in the art of amputation", Ygraine admits sheepishly. "But… Christ. Yes. Before the Dome, even in the earliest portion of it… I felt like I was handling things. Just avoid running into Sylar again, and avoid tanks, and I'd probably be okay. Now? Betrayal, shadowy manipulation of my life and my friends, two Midtown Men, the possible loss of my dearest friend here, that… help group meeting the pair of us were at a few days ago…."

Jaiden nods. "And now, it seems the obstacles are just mounting, one after another. I think Elisabeth said it best when she mentioned she needed a vacation. I heartily agree. When you're healed up, when everyone we care about can get a moment or two, we're going to go to my family place in Australia. Beach, good food, lots of sun, no-one to bother us for kilometers around….assuming we can get there, at least." That is, assuming they can even _get_ out of the country without too much trouble, but that's neither here nor there. "Before, I just had the shop and the club, now…all this, and a show to boot." Jaiden chuckles, wiping his face with the napkin. "So, what's the verdict on this place? Should we float them an offer for catering at our show?"

Ygraine laughs, and nods slowly. "I think that we can give them the thumbs-up on the evidence thus far, yes. Mmmm. But a holiday? In Oz? That could be rather interesting. But welcome. I've raced down there a few times, but I've not actually seen a great deal of the country, I confess. As for you…? Well, we'll make you into a famous journalist if we can manage it, eh?"

"You can bring your wife, if you think she wouldn't mind going completely on the opposite side of the world for a bit of a vacation in the middle of nowhere. It'd be a lot of fun, I think, and relaxing." Jaiden chuckles and shakes his head. "I'm not used to being famous, but if all goes well, this show will help."

"It'd depend on timing, to some extent", Ygraine muses. "But it might well be possible to arrange things so that Jen can join us. And having her around always helps to make things more affordable… quite apart from certain other reasons to be glad for her proximity."

A brief smile, then the Briton nods. "Whether we end up as forgotten footnotes or become widely-known, the key thing's got to be getting this to work. And we just accept and try to channel whatever comes with it, I fear…."

"I'd suggest sometime in the fall here. That's getting close to the springtime in Australia, so we'd need to aim for sometime after the monsoons pass, when it's nice and green and warm." Being warm is something that Jaiden has missed for the longest time, and being in New York, in an oppressive place like this, it's something that's hard to live with. "We can see the first few dominoes, but nothing past those…we'll only know what happens until the first domino falls."

"Jen's a student, so… she's kind of got to be at university at set times of the year. But she does get pretty long holidays as a result. We should be able to work around things", Ygraine agrees pensively. "And… yeah. I'm just… scared I can see too many dominoes. And I'm not sure how many different tracks they're actually on. Whether they're linked to each other or not."

"You're starting to sound like the Cardinal." The check is brought in it's black pleather wallet, closed tight with a white slip of paper peeking out of the top, Jaiden reaching over to take it, peering at the cost. "Not too terribly bad, price-wise, either. This whole meal costs around $30 before tip."

"They're trying to encourage custom, so… I'm not surprised. And I've no idea if that's a complement about Cardinal or not", Ygraine admits, quirking a wry smile. "As for him… I was thinking that we should hire security. Given the obvious group that might object to all our efforts."

"That sounds like a good plan, to be honest, and something I was going to bring up with Lizzie the next time I saw her or Cardinal. And whether or not it was a compliment? Well, consider it a back-handed sort of one." Jaiden tucks a few bills into the wallet and sets it on the edge of the table, ready to be taken. A considerable tip from the australian, since he wants to keep the server happy.

Ygraine chuckles softly, shaking her head as she rises to her feet and sets about gathering up her belongings and shrugging back into her overcoat. "I wonder how he'd feel about the comparison", she says dryly. "Perhaps I can ask him if I manage to get a meeting some time soon. Which we'll need to do, if we're to sort out protection…"

Jaiden rises to his feet as well, helping Ygraine with her jacket because he is, after all, a gentleman, taking one of the business cards of the shop and tucking it away. "I'll take care of that then. We might be able to get a cut rate or something if all goes well. And I'll be sure to arrange a fine spread with this place for Thursday evening or so."

"If we can manage to get hold of him together, it could be good. But whichever of us can corner him should probably grab the chance. Get things rolling as soon as possbile", Ygraine suggests. The process, incidentally, of helping her on with her coat is rather odd - since she tends to instinctively use her ability to help it to fall towards her rather than the ground, to making one-handed donning rather easier.

It is kind of an odd sensation for Jaiden, having that coat 'fall' towards Ygraine instead of towards the ground, but he should be used to things like that now, what with the amount of time he's spent hanging around her. "So," he starts, shrugging on his own jacket. "Have you heard anything about our missing dancer or her consort?" Remi and Graeme, to clarify.

Ygraine looks surprised, then startled, then distinctly guilty. "Crap. Yes. She called up yesterday. Graeme had shown up at my place - as he seems to be acquiring a habit of doing - and she called him while he was there. Apparently she's in Eltington hospital. Under HomeSec guard. Has been rather heavily doped up - I have the impression the move wasn't too comfortable for her. She asked me to let her Dad know where she was and that she was all right."

"Well, that's something, I guess. The wardens let her have a phone call. Should we get in contact with Monsignor Davignon or the French consulate?" Jaiden pushes his hands deep into his pockets.

"Monsieur", Ygraine corrects with a smile, starting towards the door. "Monsignor is an honorific used by the Papacy. And… I left messages as best I could, but… trying to get a personal message to a rich man without any contact details is a bit of a challenge, sadly. I've no idea at all if he got it. Was going to try chasing it up on Monday again."

"Monsieur, my mistake." Jaiden follows close behind, ready to get the door when they make it that far. "And that's something that will have to wait until the new week since today is over and the weekend has come. Up for a movie at my place, Ygraine?"

"Mmmm. I'm sure we should spend any spare time we have working on layout for the exhibition, you know", Ygraine chides gently, albeit with a smile. "Or do you have it all mapped out in your mind already? But… I do want to make sure I'm home fairly early tonight for a good rest. And I've got the little matter of the HomeSec interview this afternoon…."

"Christ above, I forgot about that…yes, yes. I'll go get the preliminary outline planned out for the show and you go have your exciting meeting with the HomeSec crowd." Jaiden sighs. "tell them I said hi."

"I think that I'll pass on the chance to do that", Ygraine apologises, tugging out her car keys to unlock the little Japanese vehicle. "I'm worried enough about putting my foot in things as it is. If they just focus on Remi, the… attackers, and the strangeness, we should be okay."

"We'll be fine. We'll all be fine." Jaiden sounds reassuring as he opens the door for the one-armed woman, sliding in shortly after into the driver's seat since, after all, he said he'd drive for this little excursion.

He gets a look, then Ygraine chuckles and shakes her head. "You're going to mess up my seat and mirror settings, you know", she grumbles, while bending over to peer in at him. "And driving with just one hand takes some getting used to. I spent a while just going round and round a quiet block when I first got it, to try to adjust. You sure you want to try this? I suppose it might count as a useful life skill of sorts."

"Well, the first cluster of controls on the wheel, there…"

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