[BPRD] Slaughterhouse, pt 7 [All 2.7]

edited December 2012 in In-Game
All four of you are back at HQ, the post mortem. You filed most all your reports on the flight home, this is just that beaucratic thing you do. Lt.General Ricker, for his part, has been quite respectful. He seems satisfied with the actions you took, how you jumpstarted a failing investigation, moved quickly, stopped any further bloodshed, saved a couple potential victims, destroyed the monsters.

"As for the public perception of this incident, Mistaugh's death was ruled a suicide. Faked autopsy reports were inserted into the official record to confirm it. Forty-five minutes ago, a cruise missile destroyed the Cabo de Herida site. The Department of Defense is currently holding a press conference to tout the destruction of a joint al-Qaeda-nacroterrorist facility with the consent and cooperation of the Dominican government. Both the FBI and CIA are in the debt of the BPRD. I count that as a win." He collects his papers into a folder and straightens them by tapping the whole thing against the top of the conference table, as if saying, 'the book is closed'.

"Any questions?"

Comments

  • red
    edited December 2012
    [Penny]

    I look up at him owlishly from where I was very closely examining my fingernail. "Is it usually a win when the bad guy gets away?" I ask innocently. I'm not trying to be impertinent, honest! I am genuinely confused. If this were a movie, we would be getting scolded terribly, possibly punished. And then the bad guy would do something like attack our base and we'd swoop in and save the day...

    It may be possible to be impertinent without trying. I realize this a little too late.

    However, it scares me a little that Sandovol is still out there. And that he knows us. We killed his pets. I'm sure we do not make his top 100 favorite people. Probably not even his top 500 favorite people.
  • Ricker doesn't answer other than a chuckle. The meeting is closed and you all go your separate ways.

    Except, Penny, it seems like Dr. Eaton might want to talk with you...
  • edited December 2012
    Indeed so. Well, at any rate, I pause in the hall:

    "Penelope, are you free? If you would care to join me in my office, perhaps we could have a spot of tea?"
  • I'm surprised for exactly four seconds and then I smile, a great, huge, ear-to-ear smile. "I am very free." I say happily, and it's true in more ways than one. I am thankful for my freedom every single day. "And I would love to have a spot of tea, as long as I can have my spot with lots of cream."
  • edited December 2012
    "I am pleased to hear it. And yes, I do believe I have a little cream on hand."

    It is only a short time before I am ushering you into my office on the premises. Have you been here before? I moved in shortly after that business in Atlanta, transporting in a substantial collection of books and reagents over the course of a day or so, delivering them here from, well, elsewhere. Now the walls of the office hold a rather specialized library, many of the text behind locked glass, and every additional surface is covered in jars, sacks, and boxes of interesting and unusual substances.

    The office is not large, so the result is quite cluttered, and the back of the room is filled by a great wide desk of old, dark oak. I direct you to an matchingly elderly wingtip chair, oak and brass and green tufted leather, as I somewhat theatrically (and implausibly, I suppose) rummage for the makings of the tea.

    The box of tea sachets is taken down from a shelf, the packet of chocolate digestives is taken from one of the desk's voluminous drawers, the cream and marmalade are pulled from the tiny refrigerator (this last mostly filled with jars of mysterious preserved somethings). They're all brand new, all as-yet unopened. I step out for perhaps a minute, in order to draw water into a seventy- or eighty-year-old electric kettle of gleaming copper.

    When I return, I plug the kettle in, lay out spoons, small plates, a white porcelain teapot, and then ... I suppose wait, a touch awkwardly silent.
  • I sit very properly in the chair I am directed to and watch delightedly as Dr. Eaton prepares our aforementioned spot of tea. When he runs out of things to do, I wait for exactly eleven seconds before breaking the silence (Is it awkward? I'm perhaps not the best to ask. I used those eleven seconds to compose a song about jam).

    "Calling you Dr. Eaton is all good and proper when I am Agent Snow, but it feels rather stiff over tea. And, what an odd thing to have to say, but I'm not even really sure how we're related. Are you my Grandfather? Great Uncle? Great Grandfather? Long lost cousin?" I blink, once. "It would be best if you tell me what to call you. Otherwise...well, I'll be left to come up with something on my own. And there's been quite a pattern of people getting offended when I call them by the names I've given them."
  • I suppose that, after all, it isn't so particularly awkward a moment. At any rate, it doesn't stretch on too long, does it?

    "You are my great, great granddaughter, Penelope. Your mother was my son's granddaughter. Though, I suppose you might simply think of me as your grandfather and have done. If you would enjoy calling me that, you certainly may, though I would prefer that you did not do so in mixed company. But my name is Howard, if you do not feel so comfortable, as all that."

    I pause, then continue.

    "... To be frank, I would not be surprised if you did not. As you recently pointed out, though we are related, we do not know each other well at all. But I think that, hrm, I would be happy to remedy that."
  • "Great, great grandaughter?" I muse. "Yes, I suppose calling you Great Great Grandfather would be quite a lot of words to get out all at once. I am perfectly pleased as punch to call you Grandfather when we are alone, as strange and foreign as that word happens to be in my present vocabulary." I pause, regarding my Grandfather with unblinking eyes. I hope that didn't sound accusatory. I was simply stating facts. I have no desire to repeat what happened outside that abandoned apartment building after Aella vanished. I glance down at my plate and reach out to carefully straighten my spoon. "So you needn't be Frank. It simply does not suit you." I say rather absently.

    When the spoon has been properly positioned, I look back up. "I would be very happy to know you better, Grandfather." That word does fall strangely off my tongue, but I cover it up with a rather brilliant smile. I've gotten used to stranger things, and as unexpected as this is, it does make me very happy. "You like waffles, and you have a son. That is a good start. Do you have other children?"
  • edited December 2012
    To be perfectly honest, that spoon was bothering me. But now I think back, and reminisce.

    "We did not. Moreover, our William didn't have his own children until well after my passing, so it was some time before I came to know my grandchildren. My work with the Bureau kept me here, in the United States, and I was not then accustomed to death. It was difficult to live as a man, to interact with others without harming or frightening them."

    "I was not able to see William again until the later years of his life. It was ... so strange, so ... watching my own son grow older, while time had stopped for me. Though he was not so old when he died, a little younger than I had been, I think. It was the cancer. We had little time together. But his children ..."

    If allowed, I will continue for a time, also taking up the water once it begins to boil, scalding the cups and teapot, then setting the tea to brewing.
  • I listen carefully, almost hungrily. William. William was my Great Grandfather. I gobble up the other names he feeds me like candy. Their faces are still blank spots in my memory, but now they are faceless people with names! I have family. I never thought I would know my family. And now I do. It's like Christmas and my birthday all rolled up into one. I don't even interrupt. I just listen for as long as you talk, filing all of this information away to treasure for the rest of my life.

    Once the tea is brewed, I very carefully measure exactly one and three quarter teaspoons of sugar, then I stir it five times clockwise. I add enough cream until the liquid is exactly half an inch away from the rim of the cup. I leave in the bag of tea and my spoon, holding the string with one finger from my left hand and the spoon with one finger from my right. I sit there holding the warm cup until I count to six before I take a drink. It's very methodical. I just know exactly how I like my tea. And, well, sometimes the dining area of the asylum was a rather stressful place. There was always so much noise and people and forks scraping over plastic plates. That is one of the worst noises. Making tea was always a calming routine.
  • edited December 2012
    Ahem. Well. I'm afraid, Penelope, that this tea is not in the American style. This particular blend comes in pyramidal sachets, quite string-less, and it shall brew in the teapot, as is done in the more civilized portions of the world. Of course you may take command of your own cream and sugar, and I would be glad to wait to pour if you would prefer it stronger brewed, but on some points I shall not bend!

    And I do press a chocolate digestive on you.

    For my own part, I take a spoon of marmalade and a splash of cream into my cup before pouring the tea. Of course, I do not drink or eat, but I can enjoy the warmth, the scent, the experience.

    I suppose I should ask, Penelope, if you wish to pry into anything in particular. I am pleased to talk to you, and I could easily do so, like this, at least until I look up and see that it is time to send you to dinner. But in the absence of prompting, I will likely speak of the family, of my wife, of my youth and my time at the British Museum, of Bruttenholm and other friends from the better days of the Bureau.

    There is much to speak of, and I can quite easily spend a great deal of time reminiscing, never quite touching on more serious subjects: your mother, your powers, death, the world of the supernatural, and so forth. I view such topics as dangerous, and I would rather not risk spoiling the moment. Is that acceptable to you?
  • My sincerest apologies, Dr. Eaton. Perhaps I was lost in my reminiscing about the asylum. Of course I am not drinking generic black tea in lukewarm water out of a plastic mug. Nor am I trying to avoid the flying spittle that came along with Frank's frantically whispered conspiracy theories about all the BLOOD these people are taking from us. For EXPERIMENTS.

    No. Not here. This is quite a normal visit over tea. Well, as normal as tea with your ghostly Grandfather can be (oh dear, I suppose most people wouldn't consider that normal at all would they?). This tea is most definitely an improvement as far as taste goes, however, my left finger does miss holding onto that string.

    I am on my best behavior. I do not press any of the Dangerous Subjects. Perhaps I am feeling rather contrite for pushing them earlier. I would much rather listen to your stories. If you wish to ask me any questions, I shall answer them as best I can.
  • Very well. Then may I conclude that this, our first lengthy conversation outside of St. Mary's, shall stick to relatively light subjects, being primarily an opportunity to genuinely come to know one another?

    In such a case, I suggest that we draw a curtain on this scene, fading to black on the no doubt heartwarming sight of the two of us in this cluttered office, you there and I here, you bright-eyed with your tea and so forth, and I beginning to lean forward (and even gesticulate?) with my cup cooling, untouched before me.

    Perhaps a little outro music. That sort of thing.
  • Perfect.
  • --END SCENE--
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