Was It Elvis?


cat_icon.gif tania_icon.gif

Scene Title Was It Elvis?
Synopsis Cat finds a familiar person at the Sweat Lodge.
Date August 30, 2010

Sweat Lodge

The Sweat Lodge is a safehouse with a number of interesting features. Among them: 60's architecture, bright pastel colors, kitchen magnets, peeling floors, rounded corners, and a small chapel where peaceful, Christianity-based Evolved superiority thinking (cultists, to be crass) is quietly preached. An unusually high number of Moab Federal Penitentiary ex-convicts live and operate out of there, and several Ferrymen operate out of the local block.

The Sweat Lodge itself was formerly more of a supply facility, and run by an operator named Felicity until ex-con David McRae took over in the spring of 2009. Felicity has since moved in full-time to look after children and assist in cooking, cleaning, etc.

It's taken some days for her to make this trip, but make it she does. It was an inevitability, really. Cat pilots her boat across the water from Manhattan, then makes the trek from the Staten Island shore to the Sweat Lodge. She's clad comfortably, with a guitar case over one shoulder and a backpack across the other.

Just before 16:00, the panmnesiac knocks at the safehouse door and awaits being admitted within. Curiosity is the rule, regarding this Russian teen with the interest in music and medicine.

Luckily, the so-called Katya is up on her feet these days, as she was able to get her medicine over the weekend. However, that doesn't save anyone the shock when the girl from the Mariinsky Theatre opens the door of the Sweat lodge. And it's clear she remembers Cat, too, as there's a blink and a stare from the girl. She is, however, at something of a loss as to how to handle the situation.

The alleged Katya is eyed calmly for some extended moments, or what may well seem like extended moments to her. Her facial features are neutral at first, then shift into something which might qualify as mild amusement. Much as she seemed at the theater in the land of Miss Kozlow's origin, Cat again presents herself as a woman of poise and quick mind. Unflappable. Back straight, shoulders up, head held high. The major difference is being this time armed with that guitar over the one shoulder instead of the AK47 rifle.

That doesn't, of course, mean Cat is without a gun or guns hidden somewhere on her person. "«Isn't this interesting, Valentina? Welcome to the United States. Are you going to keep me standing here, or let me come inside?»"

"«I… was not expecting to see you,»" Tania says back to Cat, although with a glance around outside, she steps back to let Cat in. "«You are with Mister McRae?»" It seems like that there would really only confuse her. If McRae was her destination in all this, then why the round about if this woman was coming to the theatre that day anyway? It's all very confusing for the poor girl. "«Would you like something to drink? Eat?»"

"«If I had known this was to be your destination, Valentina,»" Cat dryly informs while using the false name the girl gave at the theatre, "«the story of your journey to America would've been different. I don't know who you really are, or who it was spiriting you out of your Rodina, but I am curious. That said, telling of tales or not is your choice entirely.»"

She makes her way in and unslings both backpack and guitae case, then seeks a spot to set them down. "«Yes, please,»" she answers as regards food and drink. "«I'm told you're interested both in music and medicine.»"

"«I'm afraid I don't know much about her. But she was getting me out of harm's way. And eventually to here, to hide for now.»" From the men shooting at her, no doubt. "«My name is Katya. And I'm not sure who those men were, or why they were after me, but I'm happy enough not to find out.»" Tania leads the way into the kitchen, where she seems to have been in the middle of some soup when the knock came, but she first gets down a cup and pours Cat out a glass of orange juice to pass over. "«I am interested in music, yes. Luckily, I was able to get my medicine a few days ago, but music, yes.»"

"«I see,»" Cat replies with a brisk nod. "As you desire to be in the dark about who the men at the theatre were, so shall it be.»" The topic is set aside, just as simply as that. "«What medicine is it you required? I got the impression you were interested in learning about medicine, Katya.»"

On following her into the kitchen, Cat sets down her gear and extracts a small amp from the backpack, perhaps about to plug the guitar into it. "Spasibo, Katya," is offered when orange juice is offered, and the girl's English is tested to get an idea about her command of it. "What's your musical background?"

"«I meant… that in the way off, I don't want to run into them all again. Happier in hiding, even thought it means giving up… some things.»" Tania moves to sit down, gesturing for Cat to do likewise, if she pleases. "«Ah, not in learning- I really am not sure what to do now that I'm here, but Mister McRae put out a call because I needed the medicine as fast as possible.» It is for Addison's disease," she adds the latter in English. "My mother was, at one time, a concert pianist. She taught me from the time I was very small. And she had friends teach me other things. I was at a violin lesson. At the theatre." Her English, while tinted with a heavy Russian accent, seems pretty good.

The girl's face is studied as she speaks of Addison's disease, Cat calling up anything she's read about it from her memory, but choosing not to comment. Music, instead, is chosen as conversation fodder after the glass of OJ is tasted and set down. When she sits, legs cross smoothly at the ankles, her bearing perhaps at odds with the gun-toting woman of action seen abroad. Evidence of having been brought up in culture and money.

"Mother insisted I be a well-rounded young lady," Cat shares in a quieted voice, "there was piano and cello, dance. Some ballet. Her goal was to see me become the wife of a Senator, perhaps a future President. Or so I thought. Father, on the other hand, was keen on academics. The future he desired for me was in a law office, living the corporate life." That statement causes her face to wrinkle in distaste, as if a law office is to her the same as a cage. "While I made Father happy by earning that law degree, I passed on the corporate career. Not that you hadn't already noticed." She lets a smile form.

"I had my rebellious tastes, in my teen years I fell in love with rock and roll. Guitar is my favorite instrument." Then there's observation, to see if this strikes a chord in the displaced Russian.

"I was not allowed to dance," Tania notes, although she doesn't seem too upset about the things she wasn't allowed to do. "But my mother wanted me to be… to have things to do. I did some painting, sewing, pottery. I do love pottery. I believe coming to America has disappointed her." She was the one doing all the screaming, Tania's mother. But when Cat mentions her rebellious stage, a small smile comes to the girl's face. "Was it Elvis?" Her head tilts, though, as she looks at the guitar. "I never learned that one. Ah, a lot of classical music, classical instruments."

"Elvis was in there," she remarks with a slight grin, "along with the Beatles, the Stones, the Who, Clapton, Led Zeppelin, so many others. But the ones I liked most were women. Women who could really belt it out and play guitar very well. Pat Benatar, Ann and Nancy Wilson, Joan Jett. I might introduce you to Metallica. They're good at mixing classical style with modern rock."

That OJ is partaken of again, Cat seeming speculative. "You had to go so quickly. You probably need a violin to play here." It isn't a question. Is she plotting to provide one?

"I would love to be introduced! I love to try new music, as I can find it. My mother, she didn't like it much, but I think… everything has its own beauty." 'Katya' lifts her eyebrows at those last words, and seems to be puzzling out the proper response to the non-question before she opens her mouth again. "I… did not come with any money. It is unfortunate, but I am quite sure I am not able to get anything like a job here in America." On several levels.

"You're a bit young still to be working," Cat remarks gently, "though it isn't uncommon for talented musicians to work in that field at ages younger than yours, Katya. Sadly, you're also correct. Right now you need to lay low, stay out of sight. People might be looking for you. In time, that might change, but now things just are what they are. The upside is you don't need to worry about money. Helping people is what we do."

"Yes, I try not to peek my head above the crowd. The woman who was with me, she told me I should run, if I see that man again. I think… it is a very good idea if I am simply not spotted." Harper, she means. Tania shifts a little uncomfortably, that day probably still unsettling for her. Not to mention being on her own in a foreign country with only the kindness of strangers to lean on. "Everyone is very kind here. I am… being very well taken care of. I hope some day, I can repay all the kindness." She looks up from her soup then, looking over at Cat. "You were with someone. That day? He was… if you see him again? Can you tell him thank you, from me?"

"I'll tell him you said spasibo, Katya," she assures. Cat elects not to speak about the Russian repaying kindnesses, it's too soon and she hasn't spoken with the others about it yet, but she has some definite ideas how it can be made to happen in the very near future. That glass of orange juice is lifted again, she drinks from it.

Meanwhile, she's already made the unspoken decision Katya will soon have a high quality violin to play.

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