The Safeword is 'Quinjet'
Roleplaying Log: The Safeword is 'Quinjet'
Participants
IC Details
Synopsis:

In which Isa Reichert chances to meet Miss Emma Frost, chairwoman of Frost International – and a telepath.

Other Characters Referenced:
IC Date: April 03, 2020
IC Location: New York City - Manhattan
OOC Notes & Details
Posted On: 04 Apr 2020 01:55
Rating & Warnings:
Scene Soundtrack: None
NPC & GM Credits:
Associated Plots

It's early evening in New York, which means rush hour in the city, and a booming business for the restaurants as commuters stop for a bite to eat on the way back. Any Italian restaurant worth its salt has plenty of crowds outside, either waiting for a table or, in the case of the upscale place that Isa Reichert had decided to treat herself to after an exhausting week.

Isa Reichert looks like an upscale businesswoman with the clothing she's sporting tonight; a cream-coloured suit that only seems to bring out the red of her long hair and the blue of her eye.

Yep. Eye. Singular. She's only got one. The right side is covered by a patch, and the right side of her face is masked almost entirely by burn scarring so severe it plunges down past the line of her collar, and some of it is visible on her right hand. Whatever got her, it got her good, but it's all old; faded and healed.

There's a street lamp beside the restaurant entrance, and it's here that Isa is leaning her back against, busily working on a cigarette and watching the people mill about or pass by. Although dressed nicely, she doesn't look quite as polished as the typical crowd, here. Her suit is nice, but not that nice; and she has the look of someone more quietly wary than the typical socialite.

This place has good food, though. It's worth it.

She glances to the maitre'd, as though looking to see if there's a chance a table's coming up any time soon. Whether it does or not, though, she seems patient enough about it. There are cigarettes to smoke until it's time.

* * *

It starts with a car. A car, not a cab, that draws up to the front of the restaurant.

Emma Frost, by nearly every measure imaginable, very much does look like she belongs here.

The driver briskly exits his vehicle as he pulls up, shoos off the valet so that he's the one to open his employer's door. It's a little odd, perhaps, how indulgent the valet is as he backs up and takes instruction. Or maybe not. This is, after all, a restaurant that indulges a clientele that can be very… particular about how things are done.

He reaches inside for her hand and helps her to her feet, clad as they are in staggeringly tall heels. Her hair is swept up austerely to one side, forcing a pile of curated curls to cascade over one shoulder. The briskness of the spring evening calls for a light white coat, trimmed in the fur of several unfortunate white rabbits.

There are instructions given under her breath, to which the driver nods his agreement before jogging back to the driver's seat to get the car out of the way.

Frost continues on alone, to that same maitre'd's station. And then she announces herself. "Frost. I believe my company this evening should already be here."

There's a quick search through the names on the list, and then a stern nod. "Ah, yes. One moment, please."

Frost's eyes narrow suspiciously, but allows him his moment with but a small hum of disapproval. In the wake of his departure, her eyes move and finally spy the creature that is Isa.

Her disapproval does not lessen.

* * *

That single blue eye lifts to note the arrival of a chauffeured car. It's rare enough to find a car in this city that doesn't belong to one of the taxi companies. Most rational people aren't interested in driving through the city's nightmarish congestion. Next, its condition. Its angles and planes gleam so brightly under the lamplight that the thing practically shouts money. Lots of money.

Slowly, the one-eyed pilot arches her brow. If there's any recognition at the name of Frost, the pilot doesn't show it. She does straighten against the lamppost, frowning around her cigarette. According to the scarring, frowning comes naturally to her face, almost but not quite a scowl. Finishing her cigarette, she leaves the crumpled end in a public ashtray.

Arms fold. Fingers tap restlessly against the opposite arm. Isa Reichert lifts her haed and tilts it slightly leftward, a thoughtless toss of her head setting hair to spill over the right side of her face and hide the ruin somewhat.

And then she smiles, with the lidded expression of someone whose smile will never reach their eyes. Eye, in her case. The effect is a little ghastly with the way it creases scar tissue on the right side, but she does it anyway, pushing off from the lamppost and taking deliberate steps over to Emma.

A brief glance is cast at the maitre' d', searching through his list, and her mouth twists in what might be amusement. When she speaks, her voice is low, gravelly; the sound of years of hard drinking and smoking. "Hard to find good help in city." Her English is bizarrely stilted; laconic. She seems to have no physical problem speaking; her words are heavily Russian-accented. Maybe her English is just that bad. Maybe she's gauging Emma.

It seems to be a sympathetic statement. "You are Emma Frost? Have heard of Frost International." That brow raises, and she seems genuinely impressed. "You do some interesting thing with aircraft, I hear." That blue eye flicks toward the restaurant. "Someone so successful… well. You would know. Good restaurant, I would guess?"

* * *

It's not terribly overt, the way that Emma's mind stretches out to wrap Isa. Her eyes are languid – the first drink of the evening was a drive across the city ago, and she poured generously – and it helps to hide what would otherwise be an otherworldly intensity as she casually peruses Isa's surface thoughts and probes for obvious cracks in whatever natural human defenses might try to protect what lurks beneath them.

"Good restaurant," the telepath confirms with a superficial smirk. Her head tilts to one side as she considers the woman further, and openly. "And good intel. Although most look to my shipyards after the award its yacht won over the summer. …And you are?"

She'll know soon enough, regardless of if Isa comes clean or not of her own accord. Takes the pressure off the question, doesn't it?

* * *

The pilot doesn't suspect a telepath at all. Her mind is neither open nor closed, oblivious to the need to protect herself that way. Her surface thoughts involve keeping watch on her immediate surroundings, and her eyes drift past Emma to survey the area every few seconds.

They're the thought patterns of a fugitive. She is frightened by something. The emotion is not precisely hidden, but it is tightly controlled.

"Good?" Isa seems satisfied by the restaurant's evaluation, and she offers a half-smile. This one is for polite company. She makes a conscious effort to keep the scarred side of her face as still as possible. "Did not hear about shipyards. Congratulations. My grandfather, he was…" There is a flicker of that fear, and she shakes her head with a self-deprecating half-smile. "Am not much sailor. Can swim. Not much more." She really is mildly impressed.

And you are?

"Isa Reichert."

It's a lie, but only a telepath would know.

Even as she says the name there's a flicker of revulsion; the instinctive hatred of an honest person forced to lie. She endures it with stoic resignation tinged with low, banked anger.

Curious. The woman is definitely lying, but the way she does it is somewhat unorthodox. The way those particular emotions come together to sketch the loosest of cause and effect. She's hiding who she is. At the very same, she doesn't want to be.

One doesn't pick up wounds like that at a desk job.

Isa looks closer to forty than thirty, fit aside from her disfigurement, with just a tinge of the exotic in the angularity of her features and the almond shape of her eye. That blue, blue eye lingers on Emma with no apparent animosity, and some curiosity. She had expected to be brushed off, and that she wasn't is somewhat intriguing, enough to forget some her usual caution.

* * *

The curse of a telepath – particularly one of Emma's caliber and habit to pry without announcement or blessing – is to be routinely burdened with the knowledge that the world is built by one lie stacked atop another. Lies told to strangers. Lies told to loved ones. Lies told to one's self. There are harmless white lies and the dangerous, insidious lies that eat people alive. There are the lies that lie to themselves, passing as truth, and the lies that a body clings to even when it is exposed because they offer so much more in the way of comfort than truth ever could.

What is a changed name when compared to the inner monstrosities and depravities her abilities have revealed in her time, staring back at her with glowing eyes and blood-stained teeth from the hearts of men?

Of course, all of that doesn't really stop Emma from taking advantage of the situation, either. The cracks are there, and they interest her enough as she waits for her guide to come to collect her for her evening's business. The telepath gently, skillfully, navigates Isa's thoughts to see for herself the necessity of a lie… and to verify that this is, indeed, just a random happenstance. Because Frost surely knows a thing about accidental meetings… that are nothing at all of the sort.

"It's alright," Emma says with a laugh. "To be honest, I'm glad that someone out there appreciates what we're doing with avionics. Anyone can appreciate a comfortable seat and rich aesthetic. The same is not true of the wires that they cover. And I do pay a pretty penny for a good innovation."

* * *

If she's being honest, Isa doesn't even like the name all that much.

Thankfully, this does seem to be a random meeting. None of Isa's uppermost thoughts betray anything damning. She isn't actively hiding anything relating to tonight. She doesn't even know all that much about Frost Industries or Emma herself. She's followed a few things in the news relating to their work in avionics, but that's about it.

Neither does she suspect a thing in having her mind read like a book. Clearly this woman hasn't been around telepaths, much.

She is a pilot, though. The telepathic proof is undeniable. Her mind traces the conversation in lightning-quick correlations between technology and antiquated Russian fighters. Quinjets flicker in and out of her reckonings.

"I appreciate anything that make piloting safer." Isa tips her head, regarding Emma with that muted curiosity. It's rare to find someone with the experience and knowledge to seriously talk about piloting. "Unfortunately, am no inventor. Might take you up, otherwise." I just fly them. The unspoken thought hangs so strong she almost says it, but checks herself.

* * *

Quinjet.

It's a good thing that Isa isn't the telepath, because she's spared the inward stream of profanity that starts up as soon as Emma Frost trips across that particular tidbit. And Emma gets to keep her dignity.

The ice queen smiles despite it, and sets her prodigious mental talents instead to figuring out where the hell the maitre'd went so that she can distance herself from the SHIELD-associated pilot, and quickly so.

"Alas, alas. If wishes were horses, then beggars would ride."

Oh, fancy that! The maitre'd suddenly—MIRACULOUSLY—reappears as he abruptly abandons the server squabble that he was helping to mediate, and he interrupts the conversation between the London-sounding Bostonian and the Russian. "Miss Frost, if you would follow me? Everything's ready."

As if it really were just a normal intrusion, Emma smiles again in Isa's direction. "Well, it was lovely to meet you Miss Reichert. But I really should…?" Escape into the very private table where Isa won't see who, precisely, she's meeting with.

* * *

Isa seems to consider for a moment. "Learned to ride, once. Probably fall off horse now." Isa chuckles, mouth twisting carefully in amusement. She seems to be amicable enough towards Miss Frost, and so she doesn't notice the sudden distance and proverbial cold shoulder. In fact, her regard seems down right amicable, even if there's an undertone of caution.

The timing of the maitre'd doesn't arouse any suspicion. Oblivious, the Russian in question tilts her head as the man comes to sweep the socialite away.

That blue eye lingers on Emma, appraising.

"Enjoy dinner." Isa manages another polite half-smile. "Good to meet you, Miss Frost, too. Thank you for indulging me." It's more complicated than that, going by her thoughts: She does not snort, but there is a flicker of resigned, jaded amusement; as though she were expecting to be brushed off all along, and this is just the shoe dropping.

There's no malice in it, though. Indeed, there's a soft-edged resignation. That's just the way of the world. With that, it's her turn to step forward and secure herself a table. It may take some time, though, with the look the maitre'd is giving her.

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