Tuning In


julian_icon.gif rupe_icon.gif

Scene Title Tuning In
Synopsis A plot of piracy is proposed. And Julian sells out a miracle healer.
Date January 8, 2009

Carmichael Manor

There is nothing at all modern about this home. From its red stone facade to its Victorian wooden staircase, fireplaces and Persian rugs, it simply reeks of old world elegance and old money. Despite the age of the building and its furnishings, care has been made to maintain it, to hold on to the character that tends to be pushed out for more fashionable and clean-lined style.

There are five bedrooms, one of which is occupied by Rupe and the other by his live-in housekeeper/personal assistant, Christa. The rest stand ready to be used, should someone need a safe place to stay. The main floor offers ample space to gather throughout a living, dining and drawing room, as well as an elegant foyer.

There is has a hidden doorway that can be accessed via a narrow alley around the back. The door is protected by a keypad and only faintly lit. The basement is all old, exposed brick. The floor is poured cement with practical, yet high quality area rugs. There's a cluster of comfortable sofas, a large LCD TV and a Nintendo Wii. There are a set of mats in one corner and several pieces of state-of-the-art exercise equipment. The space is large, cavernous almost - though with low ceilings and a faintly musky scent. There's also a row of lockers and an expensive-looking antique billiard table with carved wooden legs. One corner of the room holds what looks like a storage room, but with very secure, metal reinforced walls and a heavy locking mechanism on the door.

Rupe is sitting in the study of Carmichael Manor. He's at a roll-top desk. A laptop's glow is the main source of light with the curtains drawn around the windows. The academic's got his elbows up on the desk as he considers the data displayed in front of him.

It's not as though Julian needs encouragement to enter places he's not supposed to go, let alone the ones he's welcomed too. "He's through here, then?" comes echoing faintly from Rupe's position, and Julian, sans Claire, comes to appear at the doorway of the study, dressed as can be expected - no where even touching formal. Pale knuckles rap on the wooden doorframe before he steps foot in the room.

Rupe looks up from the screen. He smiles, genuine, but a bit tired. "Ah, Julian. Hello. Come on in." He reaches over to flick the switch on a lamp to let more light into the room. There's a tap and the information disappears from the laptop screen. "What can I do for you?" He stands and carries a mug of tea with him to the couch.

Once invited, Julian makes the rest of his way inside at his usual loping stride, coming to sit down heavily in the opposite armchair. "I'm not catching you at a bad time, am I?" he asks, one hand dipping into his jacket pocket and getting out his wallet, which is flipped open, fingers stalking and poking through it without explanation.

"No, no, of course not. In fact, there are a few things I wouldn't mind discussing with you, if…you're not in a hurry. Christa?" Rupe looks out the door. The blond woman appears.

"Yes, Rupe?"

"Christa, can I have some more tea, please? Thank you. Julian, would you like something?"

"No, thanks. An ashtray maybe," Julian says with a glance towards Christa, a slight double-take in that she appeared so efficiently but it goes dismissed a moment later. A card is extracted, a business card with a pen-written name and number, although he keeps this to himself as he asks, "What'd y'want to talk to me about?"

Rupe picks up an old, 1950s-style ashtray and pushes it towards Julian. He removes a set of keys from it and tosses them on the table. "You. What you'd like your role with us to be. What you think your strengths are. And…" his brows raise. "…about your…radio career."

Julian's eyebrows raise a little at that. "Yeah?" The card is set down in favour of taking out a battered looking pack of Camel, lighting up readily before offering it to Rupe. "Haven't done that in a long while. Not since I got locked away, sort've hard to have any kind of career after the government makes it so you don't technically exist anymore, y'know."

Rupe waves a hand at the offer of the cigarette. Apparently he doesn't mind other people smoking, but doesn't smoke himself. "Well, would you be interested in getting back on the airwaves again? Or…a podcast, is my thought. With a new identity, of course."

Christa appears with a tray with a pot of tea. The woman sets it down on the table, nods to them both, glances at Julian, then departs again.

"I've thought about it," Julian admits, keeping his cigarette pinched casually between two fingers but careful about ashing it into the ashtray offered him. For now, the business card goes all but forgotten on the table as the conversation steers itself in this direction. "Sort've thing I figured I could do once— once it's all over, you know. But until then, yeah, I've thought about it. Spreadin' the word, sort've thing." Even as he says that, he sounds a little sheepish, and shrugs it off. "There ain't a lot of people like me out there is what I mean. I could tell everyone everythin'."

"I…had a bit of a different approach in mind. How would you feel…about impersonating the enemy?" Rupe lets that idea sit without further explanation while he pours a cup of tea.

"The enemy?" Julian repeats, with question in his voice. "Who…" He pauses, fingers curling away from the cigarette in hand to scratch at his jaw a little in contemplation, a slow haze of smoke trickling from his cigarette. "Like a sort've hate show?"

"Precisely," says Rupe. "I'd make sure it couldn't be traced back. But…it would serve several purposes. Not the least of which would be identifying who really does feel militant about the Evolved. They come out of the woodwork when they think they have support." Rupe says all this calmly, as if it was the newest theory on cuneiform writing.

"You reckon," Julian says, reaching to ash his cigarette, then draw in a deep breath of the acrid smoke. It's sighed out, giving him time to think it over. "Wouldn't hurt to try it your way, I suppose. If it was legit enough that it wasn' dismissed entirely. What sort've people are you hopin' to draw? Apart from bigots, I mean. Status, all that."

"Oh, if the show becomes inflammatory enough - nothing illegal," Rupe holds up a hand. "We'd be sure to stay this side of legal, like the other radio hosts. But if the show does make news, then reporters will undoubtedly ask political figures and celebrities their opinons. Or rather, I would make sure they would ask."

Julian shrugs a little, then nods once. "Alright, then. Set it up so I don't get thrown in jail or worse all over again and perhaps we have a deal, aye?"

"Oh, I'll protect you. I have…a few ideas. I was researching voice-altering software. And…I think I might have us a pigeon to be the one who actually uploads the podcast. So we'd keep ourselves at arm's length. I'll let you know as details form." Then, a beat as Rupe sips his tea. "And what was it that -you- wanted to see me about, Julian?

"Ah, right." Julian crushes out his cigarette once and for all, swiping up the business card he'd laid down. There's some hesitation there, for a moment, an irritating splinter of guilt before he offers Rupe the card to peer at. "There's a girl workin' for Izzy. Isabelle," he says. "Healer. Would fix anyone, she's sort of the altruistic type. There can't be too many of those wandering around so thought you should know."

Rupe reaches out to take the business card. He looks at it for a moment. The wheels in the man's brain almost visibly turn. Hm. "Well. That's…very good to know. Thank you, Julian. I appreciate you bringing this to my attention."

"Heals with a touch. Not useful t'me or Claire even a little, but… yeah." GUILT GUILT GUILT. Even if he does trust Rupe, it's not like any of this is something you want to get tangled up in without knowing what it is. Oh, well. Julian pushes himself up to stand, picking up his lighter and pack of Camel to pocket. "She works at Old Lucy's as a bartender, hit it off alright with her."

"Well. If she really is that altruistic, then perhaps we'll just ask nicely if we need her." Rupe seems to sense Julian's uneasiness, or at least has logically extrapolated it. "One…more thing before you go." He stands as well, hands dropping to his pockets casually. "The others seem to trust you, look to you. They need people with experience in the field. I'd…like you to be the one giving orders on field missions, along with Erim on occasion, and perhaps someone else if our numbers grow. If…you're up for it."

That gives him pause for a moment, a hand drifting up to adjust his scarf about his throat. "You reckon," Julian says again. Pauses a little more, going from looking to Rupe, studying the carpet, then back to Rupe. "I think I could do that, yeah. I guess by now it could count as experience." A quirky half-smile accompanies that.

"It's not just experience that makes a leader. It's…confidence. And I think you have that. You don't have to commit right now. Think it over if you'd like. And if you decide you don't want to, I would be interested to know who you might recommend. I'd like to know that anyway, in case we grow enough to warrant another field leader." Rupe arches his brows. "But either way you should know we have two new recruits. A bodysnatcher named Miles and a very…statuesque woman named Huruma who works for Isabelle. Her military experience will no doubt be invaluable."

Julian nods once at the news of more recruits. "If not me, I reckon Claire could be given a shot," he says. "She's turnin' into somethin' else. Young, though, and nursin' a broken heart over this boyfriend o' hers that took off, so maybe in a bit. I'm up for it, though."

"I know Claire will be a capable leader. She's a very strong young woman. But yes, I think she would benefit from taking part in some operations first." Then Rupe smiles. "Good, good. I'm very glad to hear that. Please, if you have any ideas for targets, for…operations, don't hesitate to come to me with them."

Julian nods. "Aye," he says, hands sliding back into his pockets. "I know where to find you." A last chin up in a gesture of departure, before the would-be broadcaster is stepping back around the armchair and headed for the door.

January 8th: Unregular Women For An Unregular Bar
January 8th: The Meet Meat
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