20100209 - A New Wolf and other chitchat

Wed Feb 09 20:58:39 2011 - Winter

Setting

** polychrome**

The Polychrome 2.0 is a serious upgrade in both style and function. Gone is the soft-industrial warehouse look, the walls repainted from their worn brick color to a more warm rich red adobe. The walls are adorned with old Sci-Fi posters and paintings by independent local artists.

The entire cafe is situated around a circular bar-like counter in the very center of the room which, in turn, surrounds the chrome and copper homemade monstrosity Frankenchino machine the only surviving relic of the previous Polychrome. Frankenchino billows steam and froth from it's masses of pipes and valves, the temperature and levels of fluids measured by gleaming old fashioned pressure gages and controlled by a plethora of levers and turn-gaskets. Comfortable high backed chromed stools with leather upholstery orbit the counter, which through it's thick Plexiglas surface into it's refrigerated interior can be seen sandwiches and pastries and other snacks in refrigerated. Above the counter is an outfacing circle of LCD TVs showing various feeds off the Internet.

Circular segmented couches surround low black coffee tables around the cafe, each one having a computer monitor on a swivel in the center and a cordless keyboard and mouse and allowing the patrons full and free net access. In one corner there are more dedicated semi-private computer terminals at high-mounted and a kiosk where one can rent a laptop. Another corner sports an Internet jukebox which has been built into the body of a full sized Robby the Robot replica. Another corner has a small stage from which patrons can enjoy independent bands or poets on certain nights. The last corner is set up with merchandise such as books, magazines, shirts, mugs and gadgets.

Cast

Scene

He's currently wearing a set of plain black trousers and a dark red sweater with black boots, and a leather jacket thrown over the top, and has on occasion been accused of resembling a young James Earl Jones.

Early evening in the middle of the week, and Robert is in his favored spot, sitting at the end of the counter with coffee and a newspaper in front of him. His expression is settled into the neutral mask that is not unusual for the man, and his arms are lightly folded in front of him as he reads the paper. Beside him, a plate of cookies is slowly being worked through, evidence of twice as many being on the plate when he started.

A broad-shouldered black man a little over six feet tall steps into the cafe, amber eyes flicking around the place. He currently wears no expression at all, his face a blank mask of impassive strength. He's casually dressed, though a suit would have to be cut well to look anything other than odd on him.

Robert's head lifts slowly and he tilts it slightly, considering the other man. His gaze moves over him, weighing him up and he takes his time doing so. Then his energy moves outwards, the warm energy of the wolf moving out to brush against the man, to draw his attention in a light touch.

Wolf meets wolf, and the newcomer's is polite if reserved. Kevin heads for Robert's table without smiling, reaching for a chair but stopping before pulling it out; he looks at Robert with those amber eyes, one eyebrow raised, and waits.

Robert nods slowly, acknowledgement and permission both, and lifts a hand to get coffee for them both, a refill of his and fresh for the newcomer. That done, he offers his hand, "Robert Moye." His words are a soft rumble, a sound from deep within his chest, and his hand is warm, his grip firm, but the hand shake is not a contest.

"Kevin Brooks," the reply comes as Kevin takes the seat. The newcomer too speaks with a soft rumble, something familiar about the tones. His own hand is warm and grip firm, but neither test nor challenge. He's dark-skinned even for an African-American, and appears to be a similar age to Robert. "The Ulfric of the Broken Tree pack said he'd sent a letter. He gave me a reference too."

"I received this." Robert confirms softly, tilting his head with a gesture that speaks more of wolf than man, considering the other man. His eyes narrow slightly, resting thoughtfully on the other man's face, even as he reaches for his coffee, taking a slow sip. "What has brought you to my city, Kevin?" The question is answered in the letter but Robert still asks it, speaking softly.

"My mother lives here," comes the calm, even reply. "I am all the family she has, and she wishes to have a son again." Kevin blinks slowly, eyes meeting Robert's and then politely, deferentially lowering. "I grew up here, and Georgia is - ah - not a pleasant place for a black werewolf." He speaks with an educated accent and the modulated tones of someone used to public speaking.

Robert nods slowly, the considering look long and slow. "Georgia would not be my choice of homes." He concurs softly, before he takes a sip of the coffee, taking his time, using the moment to watch Kevin thoughtfully "I welcome you to Chicago, to the Spirit Rock Clan. You have arrived at an interesting time, Kevin Brooks." The soft statement is given with the slow nod once more, acknowledgement and welcome in one. "Your name is familiar to me."

Kevin inclines his head formally. "Thank you, Ulfric," he replies. "I have heard some rumours about recent happenings in Chicago - Momma said some wolf been found shot dead?" He relaxed about halfway through the sentence, the wolf reassured at word of a pack no matter what's happening in town.

"Robert, please, unless you wish to be particularly formal with me." The brief flicker of wry humor touches his eyes, and he takes a swig of the coffee before he speaks. "Our previous Ulfric. We are seeking his killer. There have been other acts against our kind of recent days so be wary for your own safety." He reaches for his bag, withdrawing a business card which he offers to the man. It holds all his contact details, along with his job, as a self defense instructor.

Kevin takes the card, pulling one out of his own pocket and offering it in turn. It has a cell number on it, but that's all. "Need to pass the Illinois Bar before I can do proper cards," Kevin explains, then adds, "You think this place is bad, you ain't seen Georgia. Broken Tree said I'd'a made a good Bolverk, but one'a the white boys would'a killed me if he did."

Robert tucks the other man's card inside his bag, nodding briefly in acknowledgement. "Here, we seem to have less issues around the color of a man's skin." He observes quietly, stating the obvious with a flicker of humor. "There are positions still to be gained within my pack for a wolf with the skills. It is a time of change." And that means dominance challenges, and rank changes.

Kevin nods. "I am no alpha, but I do punch above my weight," he says, back to the slower, more formal way of speaking. Very James Earl Jones - and that's what he looks like too, or a younger version at least. "But you will come to know me and my skills, and see how they can best be used."

Eleanor pushes one of the doors open from outside, the bell dingling as they enter the cafe.

"I will." Robert's words are both acknowledgement and a promise, his face impassive. "What is your history?" His gaze studies the other man thoughtfully, with narrowed eyes, the slight head tilt adding to the impression that Kevin holds his full attention. The two men are sitting at the end of the counter, early evening in the middle of the week.

Kevin shrugs. "Born in the ghetto here in Chicago. Mom worked hard, brought me up right. I got a scholarship to attend law school and I did quite well, became an attorney even. Then I defended a varmint hunter down in Georgia, got him off, and a werewolf got angry about it and bit me. After the full moon I had no job, no family and no friends. And I was with a bunch of people whose friend had been murdered by a guy I'd helped walk." He's sitting chatting with Robert, his voice a deep bassy rumble.

Breakfast time for Eleanor. The woman blows into the café with the wind shoving her through the door like a giant invisible hand. The little bell jangles as she puts her shoulder into closing it against the gale. Damn Hawk Wind. She stamps the snow off her boots but the hems of her suit's pants are looking soggy. With the look of someone who just woke up, she heads for the long counter and Miah, shivering despite her layers of winter wear. She tugs the wool cap off her head, blonde hair sticking out wildly from static electricity, as she orders a large coffee.

Robert listens to the other man, his full attention resting on him, a very focused gaze. "I see." He considers the words, before he reaches out for the plate of cookies, offering him to him, the gesture thoughtful but somehow meaningful. The woman gets a flicker of a glance, the man's impassive face not changing as he does so. The neutrality of his gaze is wolflike, cautious but considering.

Kevin's eyes are amber in a black-skinned face; he too glances at the new arrival, and then his attention returns - or seems to return - to Robert. "Win some, lose some," he shrugs. "Something I learned a long time ago, though, is that the guilty pay more."

Sometimes being a psychic isn't all it's cracked up to be. Eleanor can't help the bands of energy that flow off of her like unseen ribbons that move to taste the auras of other people around her. But she's also used to feeling the unusual in the Polychrome. She is handed her coffee and pays Miah in cash, with a healthy tip, despite the barista not asking for payment. She turns to head for a stool and catches Robert's gaze. She gives him a small but pleasant smile and nod, one for Kevin as well, before she sits a few spots down from the pair. "Evening, gentlemen."

Robert's greeting is a slow nod of acknowledgement and a brief lift of his mug before he replies softly, slowly to Kevin. "This is often true." The quiet words are spoken before the man takes a slow breath, scenting the air lightly, and a flicker of his gaze moves to Eleanor and then away. Staring is not polite.

Kevin inhales, then exhales and nods to Eleanor. "Evening," he replies to her, then takes a sip of coffee. "Often, but not always," he agrees with Robert.

The long dance of disentangling herself from scarf, gloves, and coat begins as Eleanor launches into the unwinding and tugging process. Only once her outerwear is piled on the stool next to her, and she's left in a grey tailored suit with a pale blouse, does she reward herself with a sip of coffee. Miah brings her over a copy of the Chronicle, and it's a pretty good sign that she's a regular in the café. She doesn't interrupt the conversation, although her own nostrils can be seen to flare while taking in the scents around her.

"Sometimes the innocent pay unduly." Robert's choice is words is careful and he nods briefly, tilting his head as he reaches out to take the cookie. "Have some." He makes a small gesture, very few efforts wasted with this man, offering the plate to the other man. "You will meet my Geri, and the others. I will take you to our home. Do you need somewhere to live?"

Kevin simply takes a cookie once they're offered, and takes another sip of coffee. "My mother would be most upset if I didn't use the room she's made up for me," he smiles, "But thank you for the offer. We shall see what comes in the days ahead."

The term 'Geri' has Eleanor's ears pricking and she gives Robert another small glance as she reaches for her coffee cup. There seems to be something of relief in her expression for a moment, then her nose gets buried back into her papers in an effort not to seem rude.

"There is always a room or a bed in one of our homes. Although mine would require you to share right now." There is a flicker of the wry humor lurking in the back of his eyes, a flicker of a curve to his lips, relaxing the neutrality for an instant. "Should you require work, we may be able to help there also. There is a lawyer I know…" One eyebrow lifts, a glance slanted at Eleanor, considering her expression.

Kevin nods. "I had hoped that something would turn up before I finished the Bar exam," he says; his own eyes flick in Eleanor's direction again, for a bare moment. "Going back to criminal defense will give me the capacity to take on important cases."

There is the bleeping of the default iPhone ring tone coming from Eleanor's pocket. She pulls it out and taps the screen. Whatever she sees has her frowning and scrubbing a thumb over her forehead. She sets it down and begins digging in her laptop case, pulling out some file folders and a pen. One is opened, and she quickly inverts the gory photographs inside so only the white backs are visible. She slides a page from the pile of them and begins taking down information.

The two men are settled at the end of the counter, Robert's routine paper, coffee and cookies in front of him, as they are deep in conversation. It is evening on a Tuesday night, and the conversation is serious. Eleanor is further up the counter, working. "I believe we may be able to help. I retain a firm here for the family, to ensure that we have legal counsel when it is needful."

Perfect timing, it would seem. Evie arrives to the cafe, pushing open the door and stepping inside. She's wrapped in a leather jacket, but otherwise, seems to be dressed casually tonight. Talking on her phone as she enters, she might be overheard, "No, I can see you tomorrow afternoon. Come in around three, and we'll talk more on this matter. No, thank you, Mrs. Hanson. I'll see you then." And with that, she hangs up, continuing towards the counter.

Kevin nods in reply to Robert's words, the two men seated at the end of the counter. "I admit, I was not looking forward to having to contact my old contacts again," he says, then takes another sip of coffee.

Rose exits the back with a stack of bar towels. She glances around at who is there as she makes her way to the working side of the counter and kneels to put the clean towels away while Miah tends the orders.

Once Eleanor's notes are taken she picks the phone up and dials a number. "Yeah, Wanda, I got your message. Are you sure there's no other photo enhancement places we can send it out to? Positive? What about the Feds, no favors we can call in with them?" She pauses and raises a hand to wave to Rose. "Dammit. All right, if that's the best that can be done we're back to square one. I'll be there in a few hours." She taps the phone off with a grimace.

Robert's attention strays directly to the woman as she arrives and his face relaxes into a warm smile, a rare sight as he raises his voice. "Evie." The single word is a soft greeting, and he indicates the stool beside him. "This is a provident meeting." The amusement in his voice matches his eyes as they linger on the woman, and he tilts his head slightly.

Rose stands and catches Eleanor's wave and smiles that small warm smile of hers at the police officer. "are you ok with your coffee, do you need a refill." then she looks around the room at the others and picking up a carafe of hot coffee comes out from behind the counter to make the rounds for refills if they are wanted.

Kevin looks round as Robert greets someone new, nodding politely to Evie. "Good evening," he says; his voice is a bassy rumble, and his eyes a startling amber in an almost black-skinned face.

Eleanor's eyes lift to look to Rose and she shakes her head. "I'm all right for now; Miah just got me." She goes back to scribbling things down on her report with a more serious expression. "I could be convinced that a liquid breakfast isn't the best idea if those brownies are fresh," she admits with a forced smile.

Hearing her name, Evie turns and smiles at Robert in turn, nodding her head to his geseture, "Let me grab some coffee and cookies.." The order is put in, and once filled, she takes up the plate of cookies and her mug, and heads to where Robert is seated at the counter with Kevin. A hand is offered to the other, "Evie Higgins. A pleasure to meet you." To Robert, once the hand shake is done with Kevin, she touches his shoulder lightly, "Oh now? Interesting.. things are well?"

"Evie, Kevin." No surnames here, and Robert's introduction is minimalistic, a brief hand wave between the two. "If you have a position that might suit him, I would cover the costs of it." The brief comment seems to cover all the ground Robert needs to do so, and he returns to coffee and cookies. He accepts Rose's offer of a refill, a man who rarely turns it down. "Things are well, Evie." There is warm affection for the woman in his reply, and almost a smile.

Rose nods at Eleanor. "they are fresh made everyday. Let me know if you want more." then she moves toward the table where Robert and group are gathering and makes her offer. "does anyone want to freshen up their coffee?"

Rob enters and is taken aback by how busy it is. Then he realizes it is Chicago, and anything goes, day or night. Shrugging, he goes to take a seat and place his order with Miah.

Kevin shakes Evie's hand with a nod. "Kevin Brooks," he replies, the handshake firm but neither test nor challenge. And then Rose is there, offering coffee. "I'm fine, thank you," he says.

"All right, twist my arm. I'll have a brownie, Miah, and pack up a dozen of them for me, if you could to bring back to the department. They need a pick up after trudging through so much snow for so long." Eleanor digs in her coat pocket for a battered-looking wallet and counts out the cost of her sugar rush. Rob's entry is noted and she gives him a nod of hello. "Evening, Adder," she greets.

Logan enters, pausing a moment inside to unbutton his coat and look around briefly before he makes his way towards the counter to take his place in line to order. While he waits he offers a nod and a smile in greeting to Robert, Evie and Eleanor as well.

"Again, a pleasure.." The name seems to spark some sense of famliarity in Evie, though it's not quick to come to mind immediately. To Robert, she quirks a brow at him, then hmms. "Perhaps.. what do you have in mind exactly?" The question comes as she takes her seat finally, the plate of cookies pushed forwards a little, an offer to share them with the guys. As the door opens a few more times, her gaze takes in the newest arrivals, nodding to Logan when he catches her gaze.

Memory enters into the coffee shop, looking around, carrying a 'hungry hungry hippo' gamebox. She waves to Robert as she heads by, considering where to sit. She pulls out a chair of an open table, giving it the 'wobble test.'. It seems to meet her guidelines, because she puts the game down, and settles into the seat, getting comfortable.

"If you would, Rose." Robert's mug is half lifted towards her as she approaches, a brief nod as acknowledgement. Logan's arrival is met with that brief nod, the man's expression impassive and neutral, before he turns to gaze back to Evie. "Kevin is in your line of business." Almost rudely abrupt and he hesitates, half going to speak once more before his cell phone beeps. He reaches for it without another word, reading the screen with a flicker of a frown. "Evie, Kevin, forgive me, I must go." The taciturn man matches action to work, reaching for his bag and leaving a note on the counter for Rose, to cover his food, drinks and a tip.

Rose nods at Kevin then looks at the other cups on the table where Robert and his group are gathering then gives Robert's cup a neat but quick topping off. She looks at the tohers at the table. "anyone else not need a refresh on their coffee." and again she nods at Robert when he stands to leave after his call on his cell.

Logan's nod is returned by Eleanor, along with a polite, "Evening, Mr. Felhaven. It's been a while. Hope all is well with you?" She gives him her usual faint smile, a pile of paperwork strewn on the counter in front of her.

Kevin rises politely as Robert does, the stream of people all about apparently not bothering him too much. "Thank you for allowing me to interrupt your evening," he says to Robert, with a formal inclination of his head.

Miah is working quickly to catch up with the orders and had finished serving Rob before she gets a pastry box to pack it full of brownies for Eleanor to take back to the department. The box is waiting at the order part of the counter for Eleanor when she decides to leave.

Rob meanwhile doesn't seem to show much problem with waiting right now. Given that it's rather busy, it's one of those times that Rob can actually understand having to wait.

Logan smiles in return to Eleanor's question, turning to her after he orders a plain black coffee from Miah. He nods slightly, "It has been, and things are well enough, if a little bit more snowy than I think anyone prefers. You're well too, Detective?"

Memory hmmns. Busy night. Everyone's leaving, all in a hustle it seems. Then again, it is late. She guesses people have to sleep! Not her! Nope..she just sort of dies in the morning. She waits for the servers to catch up, all she wants is an empty 'to go' cup anyway. Her last one gave out.

"I see. I would have to speak a little more with him.." Evie begins before Robert's phone rings, and he prepares to leave. "Good night, Robert." Shaking her head a little at his business, she turns her attention to Kevin, then ohs, "I think I recall where I have seen you.." She tilts her head, then wonders, "Do you wish to speak here, or would you rather adjourn to another place to speak?" The words are given to Kevin.

"Physically hale and hearty, thanks," Eleanor replies to Logan. Then her smile fades. "Work-wise, up to my eyeballs and feeling like I'm running in place. Hopefully there will be light at the end of the tunnel sooner rather than later," she muses as she takes a sip of coffee as she re-evaluates her own words. "And it isn't an oncoming train."

Robert finishes that coffee, pausing in his leaving to empty it. He returns Kevin's gesture, serious faced. "There will be a meeting shortly. I will speak with you before it. You may always interrupt me." He hesitates a moment before he bends his head to brush a kiss onto Evie's cheek, an oddly awkward gesture before he leaves.

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