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Scene Title Variation
Synopsis Stirred up memories spur Robyn Quinn to reach out to someone she barely knows.
Date November 27, 2017

Raytech, NYC Branch Headquarters

"It's- down that hall."

The woman who's been stopped in the halls of Raytech's NYC Branch office looks rather confused as she directs a woman dressed in black, a large bag slung over her shoulder and a black band pulled down over one eye towards a large pair of doors at the end of the hall. If someone was up here, they were supposed to be right? So… why was she asking where the CEO's office is?

The truth is, Robyn Quinn isn't supposed to be here, and it's questionable if she should be here. The receptionist, a pleasant enough woman named Sera, had been understandably unwilling to let the CEO know she was here without good reason and an appointment. She wasn't even sure Richard Card- Ray would remember her, the outspoken musician usually found hanging around Magnes Varlane's apartment.

She remembered him, though, and many of the things she'd heard of him years ago. When the news of Raytech opening a branch in NYC had reached her, she decided she would find time to pay him a visit. A flash of her SESA badge, which she was sure to hear about later, had remedied the no appointment situation and at least gotten a call upstairs, and the next thing she knew she was on her way to meet with the man herself.

And then she'd gotten lost again. With a half smile, she thanks the bewildered woman and makes her way to the doors of Richard's office, rapping against in four short, loud knocks.

"Come in."

Richard Ray's office is one of grey walls, black glass, and blacker leather - and tall potted plants that seem to actually be real, and not some sort of clever plastic fakery. The sun spills in through the broad windows, illuminating the man settled behind a desk, hands clasped on the dark surface of it. As predictable for someone in his position, he's wearing a suit, although it seems he's lacking a tie to finish off the look. He can only go so far towards respectable, after all, on a day to day basis, despite his sister's attempts at getting him to neaten up even further.

As the door opens, the corner of his lips crooks upwards in a smile, one brow lifting over hazel eyes. She probably never saw his eyes before, hidden as they always were behind sunglasses.

"Agent Robyn Quinn…" A motion of his hand to the seats across from him, "What can I do for the— " He pauses. He forgot what the acronym meant. "For SESA?"

"Hello, Richard." She offers a respectful incline of her head as she closes the door behind her, turning to look towards him, and then towards the seats. "I have to apologise," she starts as she makes her way over, waiting until she reaches the chair to finish her thought. "I'm not here on behalf of SESA." Expression flat, she holds up her badge, and then clips it back at her waist.

While she has never seen his eyes before, they simply look grey to her - medium tone, something not as dark as others might have. In return, he likely hasn't seen her faded grey eye(s) or the scar on her face, except perhaps on TV or in photographs - a stark difference from the bright eyed woman he might remember.

"Your receptionist is through," she remarks, looking down at him. She doesn't want to sit just yet, in case he sees fit to kick her out for, well, lying to get up here. "Not even a message up to the CEO." A wry smile. "Not without three sets of ID." An exaggeration, but that's what it felt like

"I'm here on my own," she elaborates, an apologetic tone in her voice. "If she had given me the chance, I'd have explained downstairs. "I hope I didn't interrupt anything. I will leave if so." SHe pulls the strap of her bag of her shoulder, holding it in hand. "I thought of you, recently. Moving things around my home."

She cocks her head to the side, looking at those mid-tone grey eyes. "Something… musical."

At the confession, Richard arches a single eyebrow. "Well, that's different," he observes, his lips twitching slightly, "And here I'd figured that Lazarro was sending me something else specifically to piss me off…"

His hands spread a bit to either side, and he leans back in his chair in an entirely informal sprawl, legs stretching out beneath the desk. "Musical? Now I am curious." The edge of a grin tugs up at the corner of his lips, "If you're about to offer me a mixtape, though…"

"Not in the business anymore." Of mixtapes. "Wouldn't come all this way just for that." Taking a deep breath, she pulls out the chair, and moves to sit, her bag pulled up into her lap. "Apologies for being presumptuous. I remembered hearing, once, that you…" She trails off, wrinkling her nose. "Collected things. Certain things."

She looks up at him, furrowing her brow - only half visible to Richard, but it maybe gets the point across. "I was rearranging a room of mine. A collection room." She tilts her chin up. "Do you remember Else Kjelstrom?"

That name is something that still brings up a well of emotion in Robyn. She manages - barely - not to show it.

As she mentions collections, Richard's head tilts a little to one side; lured in despite his better judgement by whatever it is she's hinting about. Then she mentions that name and a smile - if one faint, memories stirred somewhere behind his eyes. "I remember Else," he murmurs, fingers rubbing against the lower half of his face contemplatively.

He's leaning forward, almost without realising it, until he's resting an arm on the desk. His gaze flickers to the bag, then back up, and he hesitates a moment before asking carefully, "Do you have some of her— unpublished work, or something?"

"I have," Robyn starts, opening her bag and beginning to pull out plastic covered folders - a precaution learned six years ago after water damage became an issue - "something like that." She lets out a slow breath. "She was alive," she says quietly. "In Cambridge." Which is sure to stir up bad memories for both of them, leading to the statement that follows. "But, not that. These-" She holds up one, the handwriting at the top indicating it as "The Way Back". "Eve Mas and I found in her room. I saved them." She offers it over to Richard. "Copies. I cherish the originals, back home. Thought you might fancy a look at them." A small grin. "I doubt anyone's up for old- anything. But… I don't know. I though…" She actually isn't sure what she thought.

"Christ." Richard's hand comes up to pinch the bridge of his nose, eyes closing briefly, "…of course she was. Of course I'd've…" He grimaces, his hand dropping again from his face to the desk's surface, eyes opening once more to regard those folders being pulled out. After a moment, he's reaching out for them, a smile tugging up at the corner of his lips, "I'm sure whatever they were predicting is… long passed, but yeah, I would like a chance to hear them."

The tips of his fingers brush over the cover, beneath the handwriting that announces the name of it. "The history books won't ever talk about this," he murmurs, "The prophecies, the paintings. The string maps. We splintered time in so many directions, just to try and save our own future. But someone should remember."

"Sorry," Robyn replies as she lays the bag on the table for Richard to sift through, her hands folded into her lap. "I didn't mean to dredge up memories." She doesn't like them either, for what it matters. "Or to insult with old stories. But…" She inclines her head slightly towards the bag. "Like I said. I thought of you." Probably because the Raytech building announcement was still fresh in her mind.

She imagines Richard wishes he was remembered for more than that, but- most of what Robyn remembers beyond that involves arguments with a shadow, and other unpleasant things no one should be bringing up now.

"I try not to think about it," she admits. "Prophecies, paintings, lyrics, maps." She lets out a small sigh. "You never know everything. You can't." Simon Broome, of all people, made that lesson clear to her, even if she has a bit of difficulty recalling it now. "Didn't know Else's gift until later."

"It's okay." Richard sets the plastic folders down on the desk's surface, "We all have a lot of bad memories from those days. Things we did. Things done to us. Things we wish we did…"

His gaze drops down to the words again. The Way Back. A smile tugs slight up at the corner of his lips, and he observes, "No, we can never know everything. But it… doesn't hurt to have some signposts visible in the dark. Some markers to show you the way, some warnings to show you where not to step. There were worse futures than this, Agent Quinn."

"I'm aware," is said with a quiet chuckle, Robyn shaking her head. "I've seen one. Had daughters of a sort come back from one." She looks up at him, offering a weak smirk. "It's a humbling experience. With that, she sits up, rubbing a hand at her unscarred cheek. "So is seeing- galleries of this sort of stuff." She purses her lips. "Seeing yourself painted in them. It makes it hard not to wonder."

"I know." A brush of fingertips over the folder's cover again, and he resists an urge to call for a search for a turntable right now - the chances are heavily on there not being one in the building, after all. The chair creaks as Richard leans back in it, a brow lifting a little. "Well, I know you haven't seen my gallery - and I don't have any paintings of you. Whose did you see?"

Robyn's head cants to the side. That wasn't a question she had expected, and for a moment she's not sure how to answer. It's complicated isn't a good enough answer to something as direct as that. "Besides my own small one?" She closes her eyes, taking in a deep breath. "Simon Broome," she states simply. "Eve Mas." As if one explains the other. "I try not to think too much about it," she repeats, despite her own admittance that she has a small collection of her own.

It's a name that Richard hasn't thought of for a long time, his eyes widening slightly. "Oh. Yeah, that…" A chuckle, fingers raking back through his hair, "I'm not surprised he had one of those, not with Eve and Tamara locked up in his little zoo." As his hand falls from his scalp, he leans forward, picking up a battered old onyx chess piece - a king - from where it's sitting on his desk. He turns it over slowly in his hand, musing, "I never did beat him." His gaze flickers up to her, "I don't suppose any of it survived?"

Robyn's expression is impassive. She hasn't thought about that gallery in years. A hand rubs at her chin as she fights the desire to be darkly sarcastic. "Not unless it was Eve's. I remember a bit of it." She shakes her head. "It's been years. I… I try not to think of Cambridge." Or much of the several months afterwards. "I imagine much of it already came to pass." It's been six years, after all. She looks off to the side, memories bubbling up in her mind as she rubs at her covered eye. It was inevitable Cambridge would come up given the source of these, but… "I think it's all gone. For the best."

Richard lets out a long exhalation of breath, turning the chess piece a few more times around in his hand as he leans back in the chair. One knee lifts up to brace against the edge of the desk as he settles back, tossing the chess piece once into the air before catching it again. "I don't blame you," he admits quietly, "I wasn't there, but… well. I got reports from my agents who were. I know it was bad." A faint smile quirks up to the corner of his mouth, "Probably for the best, yes."

"Mm." It's a quiet response, Robyn's gaze angled down at the sheet music. "I am happy these survived." She lets a small smile, forlorn and sad, quirk up in the corners of her mouth. "I wish it were Else herself. Having the last of her legacy, though…" Her eye closes tight, and she shakes her head. "Anyway." She motions to the bag. "These are yours to keep. Figured if anyone besides myself might appreciate all aspects…"

"Thank you. I still collect the old prophecies, and I always loved her music." Richard watches her for a moment, then starts to say something— pauses, seems to change his mind, then change it again and he just shakes his head. "Did you ever," he asks seemingly casually but with an odd intensity in the way he watches for her response, "Hear her sing La Mer?"

Robyn blinks, shifting her gaze so that her good eye looks at Richard more directly. "La Mer?" She looks down and slightly to the side, thoughtful. Given a moment, she actually starts to hum a few bars to herself, before starting in a low voice - "La mer / Qu'on voit danser le long des golfes clairs / A des reflets d'argent / la mer / des reflets changeants /sous la pluie…" The French is almost entirely flawless, rolling off her tongue and complimenting her accent. She trails off after that, bringing her faint singing to an end, before looking back up at Richard curiously.

"That La Mer? There's only one other I know. Don't think Else would sing it…" She leans back in her seat, looking a little perplexed. "Can't say I ever did. Did it… sound as good as I imagine?"

As she starts to sing, Richard's brows lift a little in surprise, smoothing out as her voice lifts - even if softly - and a softer smile briefly curves to his lips. He doesn't interrupt, waiting for her to be done before leaning back forward, setting the chess piece back down beside the plastic 'In and Out' box on the side of his desk. It's empty, because e-mail exists.

"Mm. Yes. Trenet," he admits, his head canting in a slight nod, "And… it was. It really was."

As much as most things change, a precious few stay the same. Robyn opens a sheepish smile. "Couldn't remember who it was," she admits. "Felt that was the best way to work it out." She doesn't take much to singing anymore, but in the moment it felt appropriate it. Her eye drifts to look at the chess piece. "I wish I could have heard it." Eye flicks back to him for a moment, then back to the chess piece. "Bit more of music than than I took you for," she admit with a quiet chuckle. "I appreciate that."

"I'm a man of many layers, like an ogre," Richard deadpans - and then he chuckles, his head shaking, "You've got a damn good voice. You used to sing, didn't you…?" A brow lifts a little, giving her a curious look. Obviously he doesn't mean singing along with the radio or anything.

Another quiet chuckle. "Yes. That was rude of me." She looks back up. "To assume." His question about her singing is almost ignored, though she thinks better of being even ruder. "In another life," is a simple answer. "No time now." She gives a small shrug. "But thank you."

"I know that feeling. If you do find some time, though…" Richard brings one shoulder up in a purposeful shrug, "I can do some digging of my own. I think I have a tape of that song I mentioned, when she sung it, rattling around somewhere. I'd need to dig through my archives, but…"

Robyn holds up a hand, shaking her head. "I appreciate the thought. No need, though." The look on her face is momentarily wistful, before she settles back into something a bit more impassive. "Being a musician is behind me. More important work now." She motions to the chest piece, curiously. "Do you play? I do not, but…" She smiles. "Relics."

"Chess?" A laugh, then, Richard's eyes alight with some warmth, "I do. I've gotten better at it over the years, although I don't know if I'd ever match up to the man I used to play with… I think he was a Grandmaster, honestly. Always two steps ahead. Never did beat the man." He plucks the piece from the desk again, looking down at its scratched and pitted surface, "I keep it around to remind myself that the game's never really over."

Robyn seems a little taken aback by something about this - certainly no in a bad way judging from the warm smile that follows. "That is… a good idea I wish I had thought of myself, a long time ago." Maybe it was and she didn't realise it - she does, after all, still keep a guitar around. It's not the red sparkle one she left on Pollepel, but t does well enough. "Always the most sentimental when we least expect it."

"He who forgets the past is condemned to repeat it," Richard quotes, then glances down to the sheets of music in their folders on his desk before adding more wryly, "I suppose we could apply that to the future, too, in some ways."

"Mm." Robyn lets out a long, drawn out breath. "There's wisdom in that. Don't want to admit it, but…" She looks off to the side. "Eve Mas once painted me. Told trouble lied in trying to change things." She bites at her lip, leaning back a bit. "I try not to think about it."

Richard rolls his eyes. "Eve's got opinions," he replies, in dry tones that suggest what he thinks of them, "For all of her complaining, though, she still paints. And she still hands those paintings to the people she knows will work to change them." A shake of his head, "The way back is closed, but we're always moving forward. All we can do is try to steer."

Robyn stares at Richard for a moment, trying not o let her surprise show on her face. "The way back," she repeats, with deliberate diction, "is closed." A smitk slowly forms on her face. "Just like the song." She spreads her hands in front fo her, a motion to day and there it is.
The woman's reaction is watched with confusion, until she says 'just like the song'… and then Richard brings one hand up, fingers rubbing between his eyes. "I… I guess I should read these," he allows dryly, "Shouldn't I?"

"Yes." Still looking amused, Robyn shifts in her seat and looks at the bag. "I have a recording, of that song." She looks up at him. "Of myself not Else.No recordings from…" Cambridge. "For what it's worth, you couldn't have known."

"No, of course not. It isn't as if I came up with the phrase myself, regardless…" Richard's hand drops back down, and he stares at them there on the surface of his desk for a long moment. "Mm. Maybe they might still be useful after all… above and beyond as collectables."

Robyn reaches forward, fanning out the songs - "In The Shadow Of Angels", "The Way Back is Closed", and "Little Bird" are most prominently visible. "I doubt she predicted that," she remarks as she folds her hands back into her lap."In all fairness." She keeps her eye on the plastic covered pieces of paper. "I've never read too deep." She frowns. "Didn't want to, with these." She looks back up at Richard, canting her head to the side. "Let me know if you do?"

Richard breathes out a soft chuckle as they're fanned out. "You might be surprised," he admits, "Sometimes the precogs predict disasters… sometimes they predict next week's lunch. It's all about the details." He brushes fingertips over one of the plastic-covered pages, "I'll go over them. See if anything springs to mind— most of them have probably already come to pass, or been averted, but you never know." A glance back up, a crooked smile, "I'll definitely let you know."

"It's appreciated." She fidgets a bit in her seat, thinking over both the songs and Richards assessment of Eve Mas - he seems pretty on the mark, all things considered. "Next time I come by, I'll make an appointment," she offers with a bit a smile. "Sorry about any stress."
"None at all. After all…" Richard's lips twitch up a bit more at one corner in a lopsided smile, one brow arching as he looks across the desk to her, "…my sister owes you, from what I understand. Besides, Christ Almighty, you have no idea how boring dealing with business all day is."

Robyn wrinkles her nose, offering Richard a confused look. "I…" She clears her throat, sitting up in her seat. "S-Sister?" It's clear he's caught her a little off guard with that one. "I- hope that's a good owe." And that his sister isn't secretly one one of poor women she's dated. "Why do you think I joined SESA." It's a statement, not a question. "Still lots of desk work, though."

As she's caught off-guard, Richard's smile widens a little more. "Kaylee Sumter-Ray," he offers, "Formerly Kaylee Thatcher, anyway— " A vague gesture of one hand, "— I'm sure it is, but still! Just saying, you visiting has been an excellent variation to my day."

Kaylee. Robyn is left dumbfounded for a moment, staring at Richard as she tries her best not to let her mouth fall agape. "You know," she starts, giving a rueful chuckle, "for such a large city," once upon a time, "New York was the smallest." She looks back up at him, a shallow nod following. "Give her my regards. I haven't spoken to Kaylee since…" Since well before the war ended. Not in any meaningful capacity, at least. It brings a bittersweet smile to her face.

With a deep breath, she slowly rises up from her seat. "Perhaps we can have more variations, then." About what? Who knows. But it'll probably be welcome for both of them.

"I'm sure she'd love to see you at some point as well, her office is down the hall - I don't think she's in today, though," Richard admits with a chuckle of his own, "And maybe so, but we were also all involved in… well, some similar things, after all." Then he's pushing himself up to his feet, "And I'd like that. Feel free to stop in anytime, Agent Quinn."

Fair point. Robyn doesn't vocalise that though, glancing to the door. She doesn't know if she'll be stopping in to see Kaylee - this is kind of a big step for her as it is - but it's nice to know where she can be found. "Soon, then," she says slightly absentmindedly. "Maybe next time, regular music." She motions to the bag. "Not prophecies." Though she's willing to have that on the table too. With a small wave and a smile, she turns and makes her way towards the door.

Now, she just to make sure to duck out without Sera seeing her.

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