To Protect and Inform


remi_icon.gif ygraine2_icon.gif

Scene Title To Protect and Inform
Synopsis As directed by Alice Shaw, Ygraine returns to Remi to seek further assistance - and winds up with a rather unusual commission.
Date March 15 2011

American Ballet Theatre - Remi's Office

Preceded by the clomping of sturdy boots, a figure that could have stepped off a stage strides into Madamoiselle Davignon's office, offering an extravagant bow and broad grin while doffing its tricorn.

Today, it seems, Ygraine is a rather Gothic highwaywan or gentleman pirate - tight breeches, over-the-knee cavalry boots, brass-buttoned waistcoat, frock coat… with her cascade of hair dyed a rich black, save for the warm blue illuminating the lowest portion of it. One sleeve of her coat is pinned up, the arm still bound into a sling - though it is now sturdy leather rather than medicinal grey. An old-fashioned satchel is slung over the other shoulder, bulging promisingly.

"Time for your break", Ygraine informs Remi in the latter's native tongue, a broad-grin on lips that are presently a deep burgundy in colour, good humour making her black-lined eyes gleam. "I brought our date here, to save you time and to reduce the chances of you claiming to be too busy to see me."

Remi is in her office, the main place she's been in when she hasn't been at rehearsals, organizing dancers into a ballet that she feels will truly cpture the feel of her beloved Bolshoi. She's been working toward this for three years, and it's finally come to fruition. She just has to keep telling herself that this horribly busy life of hers is exactly what she wanted.

She'd rather be one of the dancers.

The woman, dressed in the same kind of clothing that most of the dancers are wearing, is seated at her desk, finishing up the last bits of paperwork in preparation of the upcoming party, as well as the opening night of Swan Lake. She's certainly not in charge of ABT, but she's got her fair share of responsibilities.

As Ygraine enters, blue eyes raise up to her fascinating attire, slowly taking in each piece, before her gaze lands upon the woman's face. Despite that rigid posture she keeps at all times, she looks rather relieved to see Ygraine. Moreso, she's relieved by the promise of a break from all of the work. "That was a very good idea, really." She sets her paperwork to the side, leaning back and smiling to Ygraine.

Closing the door, Ygraine glances around to check for the safest places to sit and set down her satchel, before flashing another grin at the woman behind the desk. "I apologise in advance - but take no responsibility - for any food-stains that wind up on anything vital", she warns Remi teasingly, moving to set down her satchel, commencing the somewhat awkward task of opening it up one-handed.

Luckily, there are a few comfy chairs in front of the desk. Enough for Ygraine's task to be relatively easy, really. As she begins to open her satchel with one and, Remi raises to her feet, seeming to float from behind the desk as she moves to assist. "Eh, I can just make new copies if it is an issue." The French woman offers a small smile to the Briton.

"Is your arm doing any better?"

"Slowly improving. I no longer have much of a hole, any more", Ygraine responds… before pausing, carton in hand, and clearing her throat. "Sorry. Probably a bit too much information. I'm likely to be in a sling for at least another couple of weeks. Three if I'm mildly unlucky. Then… probably another two, maybe three months before I can risk using it freely."

Clearing her throat again, Ygraine lays out an array of cartons. "I brought Chinese, in hope that a clear break from both Tchaikovsky and the tale of Odette might be welcomed."

"I don't think I could ever handle a gunshot wound. I hope I can go the rest of my life without experiencing that." Remi offers a graceful gesture toward the woman's arm. Then, she goes about assisting Ygraine with pulling out the chinese food, a small smile upon her features. "It's good that you're healing, though." Claiming a carton for herself, Remi moves back over to her comfy chair behind the desk, flopping down with a soft sigh.

"You have no clue how happy I am to get a break. I thought being a dancer was difficult the week before a performance. But being the choreographer…I have a whole new respect for the men and woman who taught me my chosen art form." The woman offers a warm smile.

Since there's nobody around, Remi quitely opens her mind to Ygraine's thoughts. Always good to have a bit of insight, since conversation will likely turn to a more serious note from here on out. Plus, it's always good to know what's on a person's mind.

"Being shot? It feels like being punched, at the moment it happens, I'd heard before", Ygraine says softly, reaching over to set another, larger carton before Remi - the contents of that one apparently for sharing. "Actually felt like being kicked, in my case", she continues, thoughts flickering to a much darker place: an impression of pain, deep darkness, and disbelief rather than fear. "Rifle, at close range. The reinforced leathers I was wearing were probably a bad idea, if anything… slowed it down a touch…."

"But afterwards?" A flash of an experience never to be forgotten, water being forced through a hole clean through the arm, scouring the wound clean to avoid any fibres from the filthy leathers being caught there. "It's the sheer wrongness of it that's most disturbing. You'll have popped joints, I'm sure. Over the years, I've done a host of things to muscle and ligaments and tendons as well as directly to knees and elbows and wrists and ankles. With a real injury, there's that feeling of something being wrong. With the hole cored through? That doesn't go away."

Settling into a chair of her own, Ygraine eyes the carton in her hand as if wondering how it got there, before a wave of guilty washes over her - and into Remi. "Sorry", she murmurs. "I'm… not exactly over it. But dear God, am I doing better than I was a while back." A confused, misery- and terror-filled impression of the faces of Elaine and Robyn, before that half-memory is fiercely pushed aside.

"I… yes. Training. I'm trying - I was trying - to do some training, before… this. Help people learn to defend themselves. Give back, if in a different area, a little of the help I received through my career. Some of the techniques and habits and…. It's frighteningly hard work, isn't it?"

To her credit, Remi listens quite intently, brows raised, as Ygraine explains her experience. The wash of Ygraine's emotions into her thoughts prompts winces when appropriate, the woman nodding along with her conversation partner. "It must be difficult. I wouldn't do as well as you are, all things considered." In part a lie. Remi can tolerate pain far better than most people, as someone who can dance on sore, painfully mutilated toes with a bright, charming smile upon her face.

Then, she's offering a slow nod to the woman, a small smile on her features. "Yes, it really is difficult," she murmurs, still speaking in her native tongue, "but I'm sure the end result will be rewarding." She peeks into the contents of the larger carton, before spearing a piece of the food with her chopsticks. "You will be at the opening night party, yes?"

If Ygraine weren't herself accustomed to many years of crashes, she wouldn't be so blase about the prospect of recovery, let alone about what has already happened. As it is, there's a definite impression that she's intending to push hard to keep the recuperation period down as much as possible, and that's not even considering the possibility of permanent debilitation. That's simply not allowed to be on the cards.

But the question about the party draws a laugh, and a nod. "Yes, I will be. Though…." Another flash of Robyn Quinn's face, and a sense of mournful longing. "I confess that I do not have anyone to bring with me, at present, so I might find myself lurking in a corner clutching a glass of cordial. I'm strictly teetotal for as long as I'm taking painkillers every four hours, I'm afraid."

The telepathic frenchwoman tilts her head to one side, quietly considering Ygraine with a thoughtful expression on her face. From what she can gather, she and Quinn, a woman she publically kissed at her concert, were at one point an item, but are no longer. Fascinating, the things one can glean from telepathy. She'll have to mention Ygraine around Quinn, just to see the reactions she gets.

Because Remi loves reactions.

She offers a small chuckle, nodding toward Ygraine. "Well, it will be good to see you there, in any case. Make sure you stop over and say hello to me, yes?" Remi spears another piece of food, quietly digging in, an appreciative glance offered toward Ygraine. "Thank you for the food."

"I'm only going to be there because you asked me", Ygraine responds quietly, with nothing in voice or thought to indicate that she's telling anything but the truth. Instead, there's definitely a lingering hollowness and sense of loss. "But…"

Her hand and thoughts move to one pocket of her coat, brushing against something - activating a small white noise generator. Irrelevant to Remi's style of eavesdropping, but helfpul against most others. And with it, comes a mixture of fear, curiosity, and apprehensive hope. "I admit that I'm here, now, taking up your time so close to the performance because of a conversation I had yesterday." A blurred impression of grand surroundings, an elderly woman - perhaps with blonde hair? "You were raised by the other party. They gave me your home address, in fact. And told me that through you, I should find all that I hoped for."

It's Ygraine's turn to provoke a reaction.

Remi offers a warm smile. "I will be happy to have you there. You should enjoy it. It will be a grand affair, I assure you. We have been putting almost as much work into the ball as we have been putting into the performance itself." A reassuring smile is offered to the other woman, her head tilted to one side.

Then, that white noise generator is switched on, prompting Remi's brows to raise ever-so-slightly. She listens in silence, brows raised and head tilted to one side, thoughtfully peering across the desk as she takes another bite of her food, chewing at a ponderously slow pace. However, once she is finished chewing her food, the former prima ballerina sets her chopsticks down on the desk, leaning back in her seat. A large water bottle is produced, which she uses to wash down her meal.

Finally, she speaks, watching Ygraine with a cool silence. "Who was this other party you speak of? And why would I come up through this conversation?" She tilts her head toward Ygraine, brows raising. "And what, exactly, do you hope for?"

"How much you get told depends on how much you truly want to know", Ygraine says quietly, her thoughts conveying little of clarity save for an impression of worry, and an apprehension of real danger - for Remi more than herself. "Yes, I'm aware that you could… dip into my head and find out a great deal. But if you want to know something, then ask and I'll tell you if I can. But pursuing this line of questioning might be genuinely dangerous. The world is… even darker than it appears to be. And yes, that is someone who got firebombed and then shot a few weeks ago saying that, so please believe me that I have considered every word and that I mean what I say."

Internally, it certainly seems as if she does.

"As for what I hope for? Christ." Robyn again comes instantly to mind. "There's a good bit that I don't think they were meaning when they told me that I'd have my hopes fulfilled through you", the Briton admits dryly, one side of her mouth twitching into a wry half-smile. "But what I was speaking to them about was my financial state, and Liberty. And… when they told me that I should find, through you, what I hoped for - that was after I had told them that you had already been kind enough to pledge a couple of thousand to the court-case trust fund, and that you had been cautioned to be careful with your money by your parents. It seems that you are an avenue through which I might find far greater assistance, at least in their eyes. That there is some way, through you, that I can attain a measure of personal financial security, and also have the funds required to run Liberty properly. But I was also warned that you would probably want something in return."

Ygraine leans forward, resting her elbow on her knee, carton held in that hand. "So… how many answers do you want? And is there anything I could possibly provide for you that might induce you to provide further help?"

The redhead quietly sips at her water as she listens, watching Ygraine with raised brows. A look of mild surprise forms on Remi's features as her companion for lunchtime makes note that she knows that she is a telepath, brows travelling up her forehead ever-so-slightly. "You know that. Well." She murmurs quietly, frowning a bit. Either Graeme told her, or…someone told her. It prompts a bit of a frown to etch itself across her features.

She lapses into silence, slowly draining the water from that large bottle of hers. Blue eyes travel over Ygraine with a thoughtful look on her face, brows raised. "Financial assistance is what you require?" The woman runs a hand through her hair, closing her eyes as she leans back in her seat.

"If I am to offer any more than I have already pledged, I wish to be fully disclosed." All business, Remi straightens. "As for services in return, I would like to know what you can do for me." She quietly tips her head in Ygraine's direction. "The money that I have — it's not all my own. I make very little, all things considered. Most of my earnings come from my parents. It is their money, not mine, and I am very…hesitant to give it away."

"Require? From you?", Ygraine asks softly. "Friendship." And that seems sincere in her thoughts. "From somewhere, however… yes. Money. I have a mortgage to pay, and… well. I can't ride, which makes me a rather poor excuse for a courier, and I'm permanently on painkillers. Would you hire a translator who was on drugs? But civil rights and trying to help to change the world? That can be done in any state…"

Offering a rueful smile and a cautiously one-sided shrug, Ygraine purses her lips. "I understand not wanting to throw away your parents' hard work, believe me. It's… part of the reason that I'm not asking my own for any help. They invested a great deal in my career, then… cared for me after the Bomb. They don't live here, nor do they have any ties here save through me. I can't go to them to ask for still more assistance…."

"But you?" She sighs quietly, her mood and smile both apologetic, uncertain, frustrated. "I am truly grateful for your generosity. And I am very much aware that I was told that it was through you that I should find what I needed. How that works, I'm not sure. Do you have any use for a wounded former cyclist? If you do, and it leaves me time to do what I must to try to help people, then at the very least I'll consider it seriously. Likewise, should you need a native-fluent translator, or specialist in international politics, or a self defence instructor, or a conflict analyst…."

A pause, then she cocks her head slightly. "Information… understand that some secrets aren't mine to give. I must ask you to respect those. Also be aware that I hold by no means all the answers. Much of what I do have is… fragmentary, or a matter of conjecture and speculation. But… if you truly want to know, and you believe me about the dangers, then I will share what I have with you that relates to you, without… attaching strings. For friendship. Just be aware that once you know it, it could make you a target. A very real one. If some of my suppositions are correct, then you have been deliberately kept in the dark about some things specifically in order to protect you."

Remi relaxes quietly, leaning back in her chair. "Pardon. I get…defensive, about money." She pinches at the bridge of her nose. "It is a trained reaction to do so…my father, he always taught me to be frugal." And that's the truth; her parents brought her up to preserve their fortune when they are gone. "And I warn that I…cannot quite ask my own father for assistance. He and I…do not talk often." This is noted with a small frown.

"Other than that, I have no clue how I can help you." She keeps herself from remarking that she only makes six figures in a year. "I would be interested in the self defense training…I'm not sure what use I have for your other skills." She brushes a hand through her hair.

"I wish to know all of the information you can divulge, however. I do not need protection." She doesn't like that word. It's annoying, for a young woman who really is trying to claim her independence in the world. Not an easy task in modern-day New York City.

Ygraine chuckles softly, inclining her head. "You have… mentioned something of that, in the past", she murmurs. "The… your father. I… well." Closing her eyes, she tries to gather her thoughts - which are indeed whirling, rather a lot.

"I'll… consider just about anything, if it makes ends meet", she says quietly. "But… information. If you're quite sure? It is dangerous to know this kind of thing. And it could very easily get you killed if you let it slip freely. Or worse than killed, if you're unfortunate."

The Briton is wholly serious.

"You will be aware of 'the Company'. The bogey-man secret organisation that the administration here 'discovered' within its own ranks and moved against. It… had a great deal of influence, over a very long period of time. And it was working to manipulate and exploit and hide the Evolved long before their existence ever became known. A number of very important and very rich people were associated with it… and elements of its structure still survive, as do portions of its personnel roster. Some work for the government, others are in hiding, it was recently hinted to me that some might still consider themselves 'the Company'… and others got recruited by other organisations which also wish to be 'players' in the world of politics and Evolved power."

Ygraine sighs softly. "I became of interest to the Company because of actions I helped to take against the group known as the Vanguard - whose aim was to cleanse the planet of human life, to allow for a 'clean start'. Lovely people." The attendant images in her head are of terror, automatic weapons fire, the world shifting through crazy angles, flashes and screams in the night, leaping off a soaringly high roof into the empty dark space of open air, explosions… and a male voice saying 'Groovy', while backed by a great rumbling roar.

"You, however, appear to also be known to former Company elements. Perhaps you will surprise me by saying that you have also taken… actions of note to the global espionage community. But I have the impression that you are known because of your family. And they know that you are a telepath. A 'promising young' one, to be exact. But that's where the danger comes in - should some of these types find out that you're aware of them, well… they'd far rather have you lose your life and liberty than risk doing so themselves."

Remi seems quite content to let the subject of her father drop from the conversation. No need to go beyond a brief mention of that fact, as it isn't the most comfortable conversation in the world to have, simple as it may be. A bit too much in the way of hurt feelings there, still.

As the Briton begins to discuss the Compan, Remi's brows raise slightly. Not only is she talking about the Company, but she seems to think that Remi is known by them. Remi's brows slowly crawl up her forehead, while a frown draws the corners of her mouth downward at the same instant. She read about the Company, back when they were outed. That's…not a good thing, to be known by some of their elements. Not a good thing at all.

"The Company? Why would they know about me? I mean…my mother, she was a fashion designer. My father, a businessman."

"The Company appears to have found prominent businessmen to be very useful to it", Ygraine says quietly. "People with influence, and money, and connections. Especially those who were interested in protecting the world from perceived threats. Shaping it."

Leaning forward once more, the Briton looks genuinely apologetic - her thoughts confirming that expression as sincere. "I don't claim to know what interest the Company has had in your family. But someone who knew about Company activities, had access to old Company files, had ties to Company agents… she was concerned not to make 'the wrong impression' on the Davignons. She knew of you as 'a promising young telepath'. Not a consensual tactile telepath - but one whose abilities she clearly expected to develop. She had information on you, and concerns about upsetting your family. What conclusions can we draw from that?"

The woman tilts her head to one side, watching Ygraine quietly. She sips at her water battle, leaning back in her seat as she formulates what words she will say in response to this new possibility, that frown remaining on her features. This is disconcerting, to say the very least about the situation.

"That is…interesting to find out." The woman says this in a dubious tone, running a hand through her hair. "I don't know what conclusions that can be drawn from that…my mother has been dead since the bomb hit. My father…well…" She fidgets with the water bottle a bit. "Ze one time I did read his thoughts, his thoughts wandered toward 'things I shouldn't know'. But…that's no way to determine that…no…" Slowly, she shakes her head.

"So… he takes care not to let you into his head nowadays? Not to meet with you?", Ygraine asks quietly. "That might very well be precisely because he wants to continue protecting you. Avoid you finding out. Fear of what your ability will reveal, rather than… any comment or judgement upon you."

Remi frowns, turning her gaze away from Ygraine, down to the chinese food in front of the both of them. "I never thought much into it, really…never tried to read much. He hasn't spoken much to me since my mother died in the bombs." She frowns. Part of her doesn't even want to talk about this subject, but at the same time…

"And… that would be about the time that you manifested, wouldn't it?", Ygraine enquires, tone still gentle. "Both our careers seemed to go off the rails around the same time. It seems that stress might be a trigger to manifestation…. But - it's wholly possible that he's… awkward with you simply because every time he sees you he remembers your mother. Sees her there before him. There are mundane explanations aplenty for a grieving man to distance himself from those he cares about. But… the Company ties, the fear of your telepathy drawing you into that world… that all fits."

Remi tilts her head to one side. "It was about…two years, after the bomb hit, that I manifested. Well…a year and a half. But…" The redhead fidgets slightly, running a hand through her hair. "He was never the most doting father, in any case. It's probably just because he's busy with his business, oui?" She sips at her water bottle, before finally going back to eating the food that Ygraine brought.

"And… the events of that time weren't exactly going to leave many people… emotionally settled in any case", Ygraine agrees gently. "But… the… well. I might be wrong. I promise I know that. But… it all fits, doesn't it? Do… do you see why I said this might be stuff you wouldn't want to know? And how it could lead you into danger? Because even if I'm wrong, if I can put this together and reach the conclusion that you might be a… scion of a Company family, then so could others. On either side of the law."

The woman quietly watches Ygraine, thoughtfully spearing a bit of sauce-covered meat from one of the cartons and placing it into her mouth, chewing thoughtfully. A scion of a Company family? No…could be her, right? Blue eyes turn down toward her meal as she chews. And when she speaks, it's without words. I can see your point, and…I honestly appreciate you bringing it up. It's…something to ponder on, at the very least, and perhaps…perhaps a guide toward answers to questions I've been asking for far too long.

Ygraine physically jerks in response to the voice in her head, eyes widening… before she carefully swallows her mouthful, then manages a weak little chuckle. «Can you hear me in here? That's… a bit freaky. Heh.» She's still responding in French - having grown up with the language, she can think in it readily enough.

«If you want my help with finding out more, then I can continue trying to provide it. But… beware of those dangers. They are very real. And the more people know about any of this, the more danger you are in. Because I very much doubt that those I spoke to were the only ones to be aware of you as a 'promising telepath'. Right now, your greatest protection is almost certainly the fact that most will assume you are wholly ignorant of all this. But there's a whole underworld of official and unofficial attempts to control and manipulate the Evolved - and through us, the world. Information is a very real form of power. And a telepath is an obvious tool to get it. An obvious weapon in the struggle. If the wrong people find out what you can do and find out that you're in any way interested in this, you could very easily find yourself targetted for a career change from ballet instructor to drafted soldier. There are a host of people who'd far rather have you under their thumb than free to find things out for yourself - or for their rivals.»

The telepath watches Ygraine thoughtfully, pleasantly surprised that she can also think in French. It makes things much easier for her, the woman allowing her thoughts to slip back into her native tongue. I…would like more information. Information…that's what I do. I can glean things that people would normally keep to themselves, learn things about people that perhaps they didn't even know themselves.

The woman tilts her head to one side. I will fund you all that I can. In exchange, I would like you to use whatever means and resources you can to keep me in the loop of things. Information is more valuable than any other service. Not just information about me and my family, either. Any other topic I may be interested in.

She leans back in her seat for a moment, sipping at her water. Then, a pack of cigarettes is pulled from one of the doors. One is offered forth to Ygraine. I grow weary of having information withheld from me for my protection. I feel a sudden need, an urge, to strike out from my family and friend's protection. I wish to know what is really going on in the world, so that I may decide for myself what to do about it, long before anyone decides to approach me or use me for my ability.

The woman pulls out her own cigarette, lighting it up and leaning back in her seat. Does this sound like a reasonable deal to you, Ygraine?

Ygraine chuckles softly, ducking her head. "I…", she starts out loud, before switching back to focused thought. «I hope I'm not shouting at you, or anything of the sort, in here…. I'll give you another warning. There's a good chance that by getting involved, you are doing precisely what was wanted of you by the woman who directed me back to you. Your decision to take your life into your own hands in this way might well be exactly what she wanted you to do. Fitting with her plans. That might not change things, but… you should be aware of it. Even by trying to be free, you might be suiting someone else's plans for you….»

Offering a rueful smile, Ygraine allows herself another mouthful of food, chewing pensively. «I'm genuinely scared that I'm 'freeing' you to be hunted down by a whole array of predators. Yes, I'm… surviving out here in the wild myself. But I'm not the prize you are. Neither in ability nor in connections. And I'm barely managing it myself, as you can see from the state of me. But it's your life, and you're free to make the choice. I'm not trying to talk you out of it - I'll help you if I can. And I'll gladly accept your help for my efforts. Just… be aware of the dangers, and be aware that even the choice to try to be free is probably directly in line with someone's plan for you. And that leaving the protection you're in now will probably mean leaving it behind for life. You probably won't ever be safe again.»

A small smile forms on Remi's face, the woman taking a long puff of that fine French cigarette. Smooth, nothing like the horrible harsh stuff that you find in gas stations these days. Remi doesn't do anything that isn't luxurious. For now, at least. Don't worry, you aren't shouting. In any case, I come equipped with a form of volume control. She puffs at the cigarette again, blowing out a few smoke rings.

I am of the opinion that it is better to be aware of the dangers that I may come to face in the future than to be unaware. From what you say, there are people who know far more about me than I would like. It is possible that they would attempt to use me whether I am aware of it or not. I would much rather be prepared. She lifts the cigarette, peering at it quietly.

The passing of information can be discreet. There are many ways to ensure that we will not be overheard, yes? She smiles, suddenly reaching out and touching Ygraine's hand. A demonstration, as it were, of what she can do. It comes in the form of Ygraine not feeling so alone in her mind, as if someone was in there with her, able to overhear everything. It is only a thin barrier that protects Ygraine's mind from mingling too much with Remi's, really. Passing of information can be easily disguised as an intimate physical relationship.

The hand is pulled away, and along with it that feeling of not being alone, and Remi offers a faint smile.

«You should really cut out those things», the former athlete chides gently, Ygraine's thoughts clearly quite thoroughly derailed by Remi's sudden presence in her thoughts… and probably by her proposal as well.

«I, ahhh. Wow.» The Briton swallows audibly, attempting to get some portion of her brain to resume full operation. «So… ahhh. So… you, ummm, want me to…? I… I'd have to check with Jen. It… well. Ummm. Really?»

An amused smile forms on Remi's face. Once or twice a week never hurt anyone. She only looks more amused by the Briton's reaction to her propsal, blowing a ring of smoke up into the air. Darling, I am horribly polyamorous, and while you may not remember, I have already laid with you once. Brows raise, the woman smiling faintly. So…yes. Really. If that is not an uncomfortable situation for you, that is.

Ygraine coughs, now starting to blush. «I…well. Yes. Ummm. I'd… need Jen's permission, but I suspect that she might find the thought of me formally becoming a kept woman amusing, especially as a 'respectable' cover for telling you things. She's already impressed that I know a prima ballerina. We'd, ummm, we'd need to sort out what you could give me. I need to know if I have to find other work as well, to cover the mortgage and so on. But… ahhh. Hah-hrrrrm. A provisional 'yes'? I can't see her being likely to object to the pretence, at least. And she'd probably be happy to have you dress me up and take me out. Not that a sling exactly goes with many outfits, of course…»

Ygraine blinks, then offers a sheepishly embarassed grin. «Sorry. Babbling. Ummm. Yeah. So… ahhh. Is there, umm, anything you want to know immediately?»

Remi smiles faintly, taking one last puff of her cigarette, before putting it out in the ash tray. Do not expect to be exclusive. I am not exactly an exclusive kind of girl. But yes, speak to Jen and see what she thinks, and get back with me on that. And I'm sure we can find some designer slings. The woman offers a small smile, putting the ashtray and the cigarettes away.

As for information…I would like for you to attempt to look more into this possible relationship with the Company that you suspect my family has. Be as discreet as you can. Perhaps you are researching into my background and family for your own interests. Perhaps what your contact who seems to be immersed in Company lore caught your attention, and you would like to know more before working with me. The woman rubs her chin thoughtfully, taking another drink of water.

My room mate, Graeme…I have heard your name gracing his thoughts as well. Perhaps you could provide me a bit of insight into his situation. And if you do not know, perhaps look into it? I don't like not knowing the troubles that those living under my roof may bring upon me without realizing it. The woman raises her brows, peering at Ygraine.

«His… situation?», the blushing Briton asks. «I'm aware of some elements of it» - and indeed, there's a definite impression of sister in her thoughts - «but I can see what I can find out. I make no promises to come up with much on any given topic, but I can fill you in on some past history, and I know that there are people actively interested in the Company and what its surviving elements are up to.»

Clearing her throat - even though she's not currently using it save for her food - Ygraine shrugs cautiously. «So… assuming that Jen doesn't veto this, how… what should I wear and do for the party? Am I to turn up as your date? And… for my tax returns. What do you want to describe me as? Personal assistant? Researcher? Or… something else?»

The woman offers a slow nod toward Ygraine. I do very much appreciate it. Anything that you can find may be helpful. Also…if you have any information on a man named Richard Cardinal, it might sate the horrible sense of curiousity I have about him. She quietly eats another mouthful of food, chewing as she watches Ygraine.

Wear your nicest dress. It is a very formal event, an excuse for people to pull out their fancy clothing and feel like nobility for an evening. And…you can be my date, yes, so long as you do not mind potentially sharing that title with a man named Jaiden Mortlock. He is…dear to me. She smiles. Personal assistant sounds correct.

Ygraine blinks, then chuckles, cocking her head. «Yes, I know Jaiden. He's very kind. And very helpful. He… gave me the first aid on my arm, in the Dome. As for Richard Cardinal…? He's a key figure in the whole underground struggle for control of the Evolved as weapons to shape the world. Someone who's become a 'player' in the 'game' in his own right, out of pretty much nothing. He's… someone who's arguably as dangerous to know about as is the Company en masse. Merely asking the wrong people about him, as that "promising young telepath" you're known to be, could get you picked up. There's… a great deal of danger surrounding him. And people seeking to use what he has discovered for their own ends. Some very powerful people.»

Leaning back in her chair, Ygraine offers a rueful smile. «There's at least one 'war' to control the timelines. Yes - manipulation of past and future events appears to be wholly possible. Even time travel for small groups. There are struggles over the manipulation of viruses. Over control of mundane governments. Over which shadow organisations get to survive - the Company lost out in one of those fights. Over who gets to create and run which paramilitary organisations, and to what ends… There're a host of things going on. And the Company, as perhaps the longest-standing cover manipulator of the Evolved, arguably has at least some bearing on all of it. Many of the major movers and shakers in events are former Company men and women, or had their lives shaped by the Company - either as agents, victims, or recipients of its information.»

Brows raise as it's revealed that Ygraine also knows Jaiden. After a moment, she smiles warmly. Yes…Jaiden is indeed a wonderful man. I care for him very deeply…he was there when I manifested. She tilts her head toward Ygraine, brows raised as she explains Richard Cardinal. What's Fucked Up in America 101, indeed. The woman nods slowly. That's quite interesting. I'm glad I chose to ask you about him, then, rather than someone else, yes? He's an interesting fellow. I hired him to do some security for my home. Seems I have reason to do so beyond flirtation, now.

Further delving into What's Fucked Up About the World 101, Remi's brows raise, her head tilting her head to one side, watching Ygraine with raised brows, a thoughtful expression on her features. Timeline wars? Viruses? Governmental competitions, and shadow organizations? It's all a little farfetched to Remi, but then again…so is the fact that, beyond all reason that she can see, she is able to hear the thoughts of others. Well, it seems I have quite a bit of catching up to do, yes?

Ygraine looked distinctly surprised to discover that Jaiden wasn't a New York acquaintance of Remi's. So much for only photographing war zones. She'd have to ask when he included ballet in his range of subject matter….

But then she's nodding, brow furrowing in worry. «Do be careful in how you catch up. I'll… well. In all honesty, I've probably given you enough to try to assimilate for now. But… don't mention this to anyone else for the time being, I'd suggest. There're a lot of people being moved around as pawns, and a fair number who fancy themselves as players in the game. For very few would that be true. And no, I don't think that I count as one. I've just… tried to keep my eyes open and to think, which hasn't always made me popular with the would-be puppet-masters. Depending on what you want to do with information and knowledge - and your ability - I might be able to put you in touch with some people in time. But as you might imagine, a lot of people will either be scared of meeting a telepath… or else want you as their very own weapon. The latter types, I try to avoid myself. But I don't have the profile or - apparent - family connections that you do.»

The woman smiles faintly, leaning back in her seat and offering a slow, deliberate nod to Ygraine. If anything, you have proven to me that I need to value my secrecy more than ever. That means no more slip-ups of her full ability. She definitely has to try harder in that aspect of her life. More control. Check. Where would you recommend I look when I do decide to catch up? Any names I should know to look out for? She takes another long swig of her water, quietly watching Ygraine.

«Be wary of anyone with an Evolved ability, or a reason to be interested in them», Ygraine suggests, both serious and sad. «The Commonwealth Institute of Massachusetts, for example - that operates the Suresh Centre now, that is a 'leading research body', that was bought by the government a few years ago… it's heavily implicated in underground experimentation, in torture, in a very active involvement in the downfall of the Company… and a great deal else besides. Many of those working for it no doubt sincerely believe that its public face is the reality of the organisation, and strive as hard as they can to help people… but the most visible 'independent friend' of the Evolved in the city is an organisation following an agenda that seems to be a long way from friendly or light, in so many ways.»

«Similarly… some elements of the Federal apparatus have a track-record of providing active, vital assistance at times… while others seem to have bought into the 'my country, right or wrong' idiocy that lets the people at the top perpetrate the worst of offences. Worse, Humanis First has… a terrifying amount of influence. Especially among some of those with whom you might rub shoulders at ballet first nights. Some of the most elevated of individuals in the city seem to have close ties to an organisation that would happily see you and me both slaughtered. Or, at best, removed from pristine American soil and sent back home.»

Shaking her head, Ygraine closes her eyes. «I'll try to give you a summary. An outline of what I'm aware of. It'll run back a few years, and should provide some context. Some idea of how serious things have got. Anything you want to have more information on, you can ask. I might have to refuse - a lot of things aren't my secrets to give away. But I'll figure out a decent way of putting this to you, and… when would you like it? I'd guess you need to get back to work shortly. And having a bit of time to get your head around things might be wise. Tomorrow, some time? After the party, perhaps? Or do you want to hold off and enjoy your triumph a bit longer? Or hear it as soon as possible, perhaps tonight? Tonight? All right. It's a date.»

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