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.
It is mid morning and the crowd at the Polychrome is fairly good with people heading to work pasisng by to get their morning cup o joe. Anyanka is at the counter, slinging coffee like the master barrista she is, the buxom redhead all smiles. Her triplets, now just over a year old, are in a mobile playpen in the corner where Dyson's eight year old daughter is watching them gleefully since today is her private schools teachers day and she is not in school. Dyson sits on a barstool at the counter, signing the delivery company's sheet for the delivery man as the huge Maori T.K. and the Aboriginie woman Miah are wheeling in todays shipment of coffee and other packges on carts and taking them to the back.. All in all a nromal day, actually. He signs the pad with a flourish and hands it back to the man. "Thanks." he states sincerely in his raspy monotone, though somehow seems pleased.
Jeremy has found his way to the polychrome this morning. He smiles at the hustle and bustle of the polychrome, pleased that his friend's establishment is doing so well. Seeing Dyson busy for a moment, he slinks over to Lily to playfully pull on her hair before trying to get behind Dyson and avoid her retaliation. There's a bright grin on the young man's face, silver eyes shining merrily.
Rose backs into the cafe, pushing the door open with her bottom as she tries to work the three large bags of boxed brownies through the door before it can close on her and sacks. She gives the door a push with her hip when it slowly closes on her and gives the bags another pull and finally, freedom, they are through the door and being pulled across the room to the entrance to the back of the counter. "ok, got a new batch here."
Jamie steps in the door. A black wool coat, reaching his knees, hangs open, though the hands in the pockets have clenched it closes around the waist. The color is flipped up to keep the cold air off of his neck. The teenager's face is pale, though slightly flushed. His motion is a little taxed, as if he was exhausted. He shuffles his way to the counter. "Morning… Can I get an Italian Cream soda.. and do you have any carrot cake today?" He pauses, as if considering the food, then nods, "Yeah, a piece of carrot cake if you have it." For those with exceptional senses of smell, the young man smells as if he has been scent marked by at least two tigers.
Lily grins as Jeremy does his sneak hairpull and makes a playful growling sound then goes back to playing with the three youngins.. Making funny animal noises as she does an impromptu puppet show with stuffed toys
Dyson smirks at Jeremy and shakes his head, sliding off the stool as the delivery man winds his way out, happily with a coffee on the house from Anyanka. Dyson watches the man go then looks back to Jeremy. "I was wondering when you were going to come by again, Jer…" he says, crossing his arms with a smirk. "Lily keeps complaining that you never visit.." He spots Rose and oops, quickly walking over to her and grabbing one of the bags. "Aaaand here is breakfast.. Chocolaty browny breakfast goodness." he says and then leans over to nuzzle Rose's cheek. "We may eat them all and have nothing left to sell.."
Anyanka gives Jamie her trademark smile and nods. "of course, sugah.." she drawls and sashays to the side counter where she starts prepping his order.
Jeremy grins at Lily and sticks his tongue out at her before giving Dyson a quick hug. "Sorry….was off wanderin again I guess. My family didn't know where I was either. One of these days someone's gonna put one of those camera's on me to see where I go." He tilts his head. "So how is the family? I see Lilypad is showing off her multipersonality disorder for the rugrats."
Rose giggles when the bag is taken from her and Dyson zeros in on her neck to nuzzle it. "oh, not fair, not fair." she drops her two bags, gives him a quick kiss and tires her best to gain back the one that he has taken from her. "Bad Dyson, Bad. Give it back so I can put them away." she is making little jumps and reaching motions and it looks like hes just too quick for her to take the bag back.
Jamie watches the goings on with mild interest, as he waits for his order. Once Anyanka returns, he hands her the money for it, "Keep the change, Ma'am." He walks over one of the computer terminals and sits down. It is after he has sat down that he wiggles out of the heavy coat, letting it drap backwards over the chair.
Dyson awws and poys at Rose. "But.. But I wanted one." he grumbles.. Yes, he has become a little warmer since he and Rose became a couple.. just enough to take the cold edge off of him most of the time. He hands the bag back but slaps her rear playfully as she passes, grinning, then looks at Jeremy. "You need to stop doing that, Jeremy. We worry about you. At least take a cellphone with you." he chides the young man. And the family is fine." He spots Jamie and waves to the young man. "Good morning!" he states.
Jeremy chuckles and shrugs. "No pockets….." He looks at the brownies. "Chocolate……" He gets that look on his face as if he's going to end up drooling for the brownies. "Ya did buy my chocolate milk right? The good stuff?" He looks over at the stranger and wrinkles his nose a little as he picks up the scent. Of course the banter between Dyson and Rose makes him raise an eyebrow. He's not been around and well…this is new.
Rose laughs as she pulls the bags behind the counter so she can put the boxes of brownies away. She goes to one knee, pulls out a box and places it on the counter between Dyson and Jeremy. "here, something different. Apple flips." and through the little window of the box there can be seen hand sized half moon shaped little pies. "they are great with milk or coffee either one and there's enough to share around with everyone."
Jamie looks over, blinking slightly, as he realizes that the man is talking to him. "Oh.. um.. good morning." His eyes move from shifter to shifter. There is a small bit of curiosity in those tired eyes. Then there is a spark of that mental lightbulb turning on. How many albinos come to the same coffee house? "This is your place, right?"
Dyson rolls his eyes and shakes his head at Jeremy. "Get a manpurse then.. I mean it, Jeremy.. You need a way of keeping in contact.. For your OWN safety." he says with honest worry. "And yes.. *sigh* There is the good stuff in the fridge." he smirks and looks at Rose now, raising a brow. "An apple flip? Who are you and what have you done with my Fiance?" he asks. "Apple flip sounds way too healthy." he chuckles and looks to jamie. "Yes.. Yes I am. And….?"
Jeremy looks at the box with the apple….thingies. "They do look too healthy…..is she tryin ta kill us?" He smiles at Rose and then sits by Dyson. "Not sure if I can but I'll do my best for you Mon capitan!" HE gives a mock salute and then inches over to where the brownies are giving Dyson a look and then the brownies. A conspiratorial grin appears on his face.,
Rose shakes her head and stands up, slaps a box of brownies down on the counter. "ok if you don't want apple pie in the hand, and want a brownie instead. Help yourself." there looks to be six nice sized brownies in the box and this box has peanutbutter printed across the side.
Jamie looks to Dyson and shakes his head, "And nothing really… Some friends were just telling me about you and about how this place was safe for everyone to be here." A run of sweat trickles down his cheek, and his hair is a little damp. "Not safe.. ." he pauses as he tries to remember, "neutral zone."
Dyson blinks at Jamie.. then grins. "Well.. yes.. I guess a Neutral Zone is close enough to the truth. Though we're not talking Klingons and Romulans kind of Neutral zone." he chuckles. "Please, feel welcome here." he seems intrigued that a human would sorta know the whole neutrality thing, but puts it off to probably being a friend of some shifter. He looks back to Jeremy and sighs. "Thank you, jeremy. Besides if you had a cellphone Lily could call and gossip with you." he then turns to Rose and smirks. "Oh, I guess I can try teh apple pike.. flip.. thing. I like apples.. Just you have spioled us with chocolate for so long…"
Jeremy rolls his eyes a little. "Leave it to a female to ruin something so sacred as chocolate with guilty feelings. Okay….I'll try the applemaggiggies…." HE looks at Jamie and just gives a polite smile. "This is a great place to be. Its always comfortable for everyone who just wants to be without the stress."
Rose smirks at Dyson, leans over the counter to breath at him. "Apples are the fruit of love my love." she winks at him, gives him a light kiss then pulls back to smile at Jeremy. "go ahead and get the box of brownies, share the with the kids and the customers." she motions toward Jamie when she says customers.
Jamie takes a sip of his cream soda, swallowing it very slowly, as if it was almost painful to swallow. He nods to Jeremy, "I have enjoyed it when I have been here.. mostly." He extracts himself from their conversation and starts checking a yahoo email account, mainly deleting the junk mail that had somehow gotten through the filters.
Suddenly, without any warning, daughter Lily freezes and it is like time just stops for her.. Standing at the edge of the playpen and the toys tumbling from her suddenly pale fingers, gravity pulling them slowly to the padded bottom of the pen. Her emerald eyes seem to almost glow in their intensity.. their horror.. the blood draining from her rich toned skin that usually has that healthy tone inherited from her American Indian mother. It is one of those few moments where it is obvious she is not. a normal child.. one of the moments where it strikes home that she is different. "No…." she whispers, as if she can see.. see something that isn't there. Something beyond. "NO!" she cries as she grabs the blanket hung over the side of the playpen and jumps in, pulling the blanket over her and the babies.. the playpen tipping over. "GEEEEEEET DOOOOOOOWN!" she shreiks in a voice that no eight year old should have.
For one single second of silence after Dyso's daughters outburst, shocking most anyone into a frozen moment, everything is calm and normal.. Just a normal day at a slightly trendy and popular establishment.. The next moment it is hell on earth. The explosion is so powerful, even so far back in the warehouse that houses the cafe, that it is like a great hand of pressure blows through the brick building, tossing everyone to the ground. This is followed by a thunderous roar so loud it almost cannot be heard.. incomprehensible in it's horrioble rage. The entire establishment feels like a table that has been lifted from one side, tilting it foreward for every plate and glass to slide off of before it is dropped hard back to the floor. Within seconds, all is quiet again.. silent.. except for the shrill bleeting of a fire alarm far in the back.. and thickening smoke…
Dyson turns to his daughter, his usually cold red within pink eyes staring at his only child as she screams and pulls the playpen and blanket back. Confused, his contknues to turn, almost perouetteing in slow motion as his body tenses for.. something.. A something that erupts from the hallway that was behind him. The concussive force, blowing the beaded curtain away as if it were dust, is like a fist that strikes him square in the torso and lifts him up and OVER the counter.. He strikes the Frankenchino machine and bolws it over, making him flip heels over head until he is on the far side of the curcular counter in the center of the cafe.. hidden from view.
Jeremy's hair stands on end as the scream rips through the cafe. He's hit by the emotions that come with it. All the fear…he's already rushing toward the children, focused on Lily. Any illusions of humanity are quickly dispersed with his movements. The leap and the fact that he's practically using all fours to get to them. The initial concussive force of the explosion is not so bad from the lower stance that Jeremy assumes. But that's only just. He struggles to get to the kids despite the blood that already runs down his face from whatever went flying past him.
Rose jumps the boxes on the floor in front of her and tries to get out from behind the counter to run toward Lilly and has just cleared the path of the blast when it goes off. A step or two behind Jeremy,,, she moves next to him just managed to kneel next to the play pen to join the young boy to help him make a shield for the children. Ducking her head and turning it away from the blast as glass and other shattered things fall over her, splattering her blood over Jeremy as his is splattered over her. And under them, the blanket keeps the children from harm at this point.
His nerves were already frazzled from not having slept all that well for the last couple of days. When the little girl screams, Jamie jumps up to see what's wrong. Standing as is, the wall of force that slams into him, along with the flying shrapnel of debris, sends him flying, colliding first into the table and the computer and then beyond. When he finally comes to a forceful stop, it is with a sickening thud as he hits the ground.
A cough from the far side of the now cracked bar.. a pale shaky hand reaches up, nails digging into the surface with considerable strength.. Dyson pulls himself upwards.. His face is a bloody mess and he coughs a bit of red as he brings himself up to counter level. "L-l-ily." he whispers.. then his voice becomes a panic as he looks around with blurry almost glazed eyes. "LIIIIILY! LIIIIIIIIIIIIILY!" he yells, his voice almost broken with hoarsness. His eyes look in horror at the blood covered blanket and the now fully overturned playpen.. even if the blood isn't the children's and mostly Jeremy's and Roses. When he hears the tiny wails of three baby's he ALMOST looks relieved but he can see his daughter, unconcious, covering them as the playpen almost covers her. "JEREMY! ROOOOOOSE!.." his nails scratch at the bar, almost becoming talons as he fights something deep in himself, tryinng to stand. "GET UP! GET THE KIDSSSS OUT!" He remembers the other patrons, only a few.. They have been tosed to the ground but were close to the door and seem to be getting up, scared and hurt.. But Jamie was closer to the hall door by the computers.. "AND THE CUSTOMERS!!!." His chest is bleeding as well from shrapnel through his t-shirt, now coming into view as he gets his feet. Fire is raging in the back.. smoke starting to fill the the front now. "MIAH! T.K.!" he yells towards the back… "OH GOD NOT AGAIN!"
Jeremy is blinking slightly crossing eyes as he tries to gather himself up. He moves to cradle Lily to him and looks over to Rose. "R-rose….come on….we gotta get movin…." Visibly trembling, he tries to rub the blood from his eyes. "Llllily? C-come on, wake up…." As much as he asks for movement, he's not moving too quickly himself. He gets to his knees, holding onto the girl and looking rather dazed.
Rose nods at Jeremy then she pulls and lifts the things covering the triplets a bit, hearing them crying and seeing that they are ok. "Dyson." she whispers then she begins to crawl and try to stand up at the same time in her efforts to see Dyson. "DYSON!!!" she yells as she turns to look at him and seeing that he is standing, she bends to pull the small children free and into her arms. She has no problem with their weight, just trying to get them to calm. And soon she is walking with them in a little circle making soft -Thrissing- sounds for them.
Unlike the customers who were further away from the blast, Jamie does not start to get up. In fact, the young blond doesn't move at all, not even so much as a groan.
Anyanka is dazed beneath the counter, shellshocked, but adrenaline kicks in and she scrambles to her feet, shaky.. except for a cut in her brow she looks fine.. but frantic. "THe BABIES!" she screams.. no.. THRiSSES.. her eyes slitting into their crocodylian nature.. She look around in a panic but when she sees Rose, a sister of the bask no matter how new she is, grabbing her three youngins, all of them wailing but looking unhurt, a sense of strange alien calm comes over her.. as if she knows they will be allright in Rose's arms. SHe turns to her leader, looking in shock at his injured body.. a body that fights to contain the thrashing reptillian beast in is aggitated pain and rage. "BOSS!" she yells and is about to help him..But one look at her seems to convey a plethora of silent orders.. She just nods and without saying anything else and jumps over the counter and towards Jamie.. Hurt people shouldn't be moved, but she has no choice.. her arms slither beneath him and she lifts him with ease, craddeling the teen against her busom carefully as she starts to carry him towards the doors that have been blown open onto the peir.. There are sirens in the distance.. the smoke is getting thicker.. the fire in back more intense..
Lilly won't wake up.. bust she is breathing.. there is a trickle of blood from her nose.. her ears.. having taken some of the brunt for the babies.. She is silent in her protector's, the leopard's arms.. he heart beating, weak but definatey there.
Dyson watches Anyanka follow his silent orders and and looks at the inferno that is making it's way forewards toward them from the back.. Back there two of his family lie, perhaps dead, perhaps blown to smithereens.. But he ca't leave them. He sees his daughter in Jeremy's arms.. alive but hurt and his beast churns dangerously within him..Then he hears his name called and his eyes lock onto Rose's… Sees her grab the baby's… And there is a pain deep in him.. as if this might be the last time he sees her.. sees anyone. "Rose.. love..Take care of them all.." he whispers.. unable to speak louder and hoping she can at least feel him.. He looks to Lily again.. "I love you so much baby.. take care of Rose.." then to Jeremy.. "And you take care of Lily…" He turns on his heel, staring at the fire.. and lets out the final thriss as he releases his beast.. his bones snapping and scales raising down his arms like stones pushing from under white latex.. His snout elongating.. He tranforms in a silhouette against the fire, becoming that half human, almost dinosaurian like creature.. over eight feet tall at least.. and hurls himself into the back hallway through licking flames.. looking for the two other members of his extended family.
Jeremy stumbles to two legs and an arm, using the other to hold onto Lily. Only one eye is clear as he looks toward Dyson and then Rose. The young man is clearly conflicted. "D-dyson….." He stumbles with the girl in his arms but is heading toward the front door. "Rose?"
Rose is frozen where she is, holding the triplets and watching Dyson move, shift and move into the black smoke pouring out of the hall and she whispers. "but how did they get in there." then she blinks and turns toward the open door to the pier. "The boxes of supplies." another soft whisper then eyes narrow as cool rage rises in her. "They brought them in." and now she is just behind Jeremy with the children so that she is only a few steps behind when he carries Lilly out on the pier.
There are spectators staring in horror as at the flaming warehouse on the edge of the peir, many on their cellphones and probably overloading the 911 call center. Anya and the others spill out into the peir, coughing as they get distance between themselves and the inferno.. Then secondary explosions rock the cafe, far in the back, causing the entire peir to shake.. Glass and brick tossed aside. Anya gets the patrons, jamie included, behind a cement divider and she looks back in horror as the Polychrome seems to start caving in on itselfs, part of it falling off the peir into the water.. "DYSON!" she cries.. "MIAH! T.K.!" Tears are flowing down her smooty cheeks..
Jeremy looks at Anya and Rose. "Please take Lily….She's not losin her dad." Gently laying Lily down, fur begins to appear along Jeremy's skin. Back arching, he stifles a cry of pain as his clothing and skin rip. The result is a snow leopard man that's not really clothed but at least nothing is obvious. He leans down really quick to give Lily a lick on the cheek and nuzzle before four legging it into the smoke to try and help his best friend.
Rose stands there clutching the wiggling sobbing babies and stares at the crumbling building. Her face is cold now, no emotion shows. Only her lips move. She speaks silently, "I -will- kill them. I -will- I swear it to Sobek."
Before the leopard man can make it to the horrible conflaguration a shadow, large and semi-human, appears in one of the broken windows.. backlit by fire.. It pushes through shards of glass and the bent bars in the frame.. The almost raptor like creature, it's once pearlescant scales now burned or singed and blackened, stumbles out of the wreckage as the final explosions light up the noon sky.. Already injured, glass and steel stick into his back, stuttering up from the back of his legs to his shoulders.. He falls to a knee, two bodies in his arms rolling onto the ground.. One still breathing and presumably female.. singed and missing her left arm below the elbow. the other, much larger, basically hamburger and just as dead. People watch the reptillian creature thrissing in agony and.. something else.. something almost human yet not.. heartfelt and remoresful.. He then falls over the two and his scales split down the back and flake off to dust, revealing the much smaller and human form, still injured with pertruding shrapnel and scorched pale flesh from the fire licking him from only feet away behind him.
Jeremy backs up and watches in mute horror at the look of his friend in such shape. He chirps and whines what must only be a sob. He knows that there is a loss. He feels it as much as sees it. Getting over the initial shock, the snow leopard man crawls over to Dyson and begins to pull the shrapnel from Dyson's body. He's not gentle, the claws dig in to get what he can out. There's a reason for this….and hopefully the former crocman is not snow kitty intolerant. Because whether he wants it or not, he's going to get to know a bit more about Jeremy then he probably planned that day. Like how the cat tastes. Muttering a mantra softly to himself, he uses a fang to rip open his palm and run it down the poor man's back before carefully trying to pour the blood into Dyson's mouth.
Rose shifts the children to their mother and is a close second of Jeremy at Dyson's -body-. She kneels and lowrs her head with her ear touching his back and suddenly grins then whispers to Jeremy. "He lives." and as soon as she says that she's helping the teen pull things from Dyson's back. "Healing, he needs healing." and nods at Jeremy then she holds up her hands. "Mine would be better, being the same as him." and she adds her blood to Jeremy's. "His chest too." she adds.
Dyson lets out sounds of pain as they tear peices of metal and glass from his body..shuddering and almost keening.. The blood and Jeremy's power, mixed with Rose crocodylian blood, is enough to bring him from the brink, though he is still greviosuly wounded. He rolls onto his back on the ground..naked and smooty.. eyes glazed in the pain and the anguish.. He sees Rose and Jeremy though the haze and nods, whispering sorry.. not thank you but sorry. Tears threaten his eyes as he sees Anya beyond them, cradlling the babies as EMT's who have just shown up are checking out Lily, still unconcious. They look worried. "Rose.. Jeremy.. go with her.. make sure.. she is okay.." he whispers.. Then his eyes look to Miah who is concious and staring at the body of her dead lover… He sees the other emt's working on Jamie, an innocent.. He watches the foreman batteling against a fire that has already won.. "They will.. pay!" he vows.. cold steel in his voice.. then his eyes roll back in his head and he passes out.
Jeremy is furry and doesn't dare go near any of the humans. He looks over Dyson and rumbles, "I can help boost Miah some…Lily…lily human. Don't want infect….don't want put down. They help her. Rose help her." The cat is in fact shaking from the shock and fear. He does go over to the wounded Miah and tries to help her heal at least enough that she's not in danger of failing on them. At least he offers. WIth her awake, she has the right to refuse. Otherwise he'll hover over Dyson.
Rose leans over Dyson after he had passed out and Jeremy has left to help Miah. Her cold rage is held so close to her that it leaves no room for grief. She kisses his blacken and bloody lips then whispers. "I will kill them, I will." she sits up to glance around her then rips at her palm to bring more blood and holds her bleeding hands over the empty wound in his chest.
As the EMT's are working on Jamie, one of the mutters, "Crap, I'm not finding a pulse… I think we're losing him… Give me a hand over here." A pair of paramedics start working on resisitate the boy. After what seems like an eternity, they manage to get the teenager's heart beating again. The hurry to get him, loaded into the ambulance.
Miah stares at TK's corpse.. her face like stone… As Jeremy soeaks her name she just nods.. numbly.. and allows him to do what he has to do to help her.. The shock isn't just the lose of her lower arm but of losing TK. When Jeremy is helping her she then leans against the furry young man and starts to cry, softly.
Dyson would probably agree with her, promising his vengence even more, but he is floating somewhere far away… While her blood will no longer heal her since it is no longer mixed with Jeremy's special gift but it serves as a binding.. a vow.. and in that floating darkness Dyson relaxes somewhat.. resolved.