|What: The girls drop in to see Emma with a concerned warning. The quartet continue to figure things out between each other.|
Emma has been a very busy persona lately, and her apartment reflects that tonight-- in fact, it has for weeks now, and the nature of the work is all that's really changed. Unlike the first time the girls visited her, the place it not even remotely spotless. Today, there's a half-eaten collection of chinese takeout boxes on the kitchen table-- and another next to an ALMOST empty wineglass on the coffee table-- as well as papers and books and two laptops scattered around. A set of large sheets of paper are on the walls containing floorplans and exterior artist's renderings and some 3D wires of buildings... and given there's a large pile of similar on a corner table, those must be the finals. The books are all legal and business texts and the laptops and tablets are full of spreadsheets and email and zoning information for Metropolis.
Emma herself is present, not at any of the chairs right now, but peering between a pair of bundles of paper stapled together, one in each hand. Real estate listings and proposals, it seems, since that's what is foremost on her mind at the moment. There's a sort of air of excitment on the air for the whole undertaking. Even Emma can't fully contain her feelings about the project, if even she were inclined to in the privacy of her own home.
The girls have been worried on a level they haven't experienced in nearly two years. They've decided to go and find Emma, partly for advice, partly to warn her. They've kept their anxiety well-covered, though. They're still not willing to show too much weakness, even after the Balkans trip.
|"It's not as though she can do anything."| Esme has been uncharacteristically stubborn about going. Sophie and Phoebe are used to push-back, but not to this degree. Besides, Esme is the one usually fascinated with Emma, looking up information about her online, even starting to emulate her clothing.
The other two have opted to ignore her and they keep going, letting her lag behind and grumble. The security lets them into the building without resistance. On their way up, they reach out to touch Emma's mind lightly, just saying hello.
Emma's mental reaction is one of pleasant surprise, and to her credit, her mental response is somewhat restrained-- a warm thought of welcome and an inspecific invitation to join her upstairs. It's a good time, but that point is immaterial. She'd make it a good time if it somehow wasn't.
She doesn't open the door for them, because it unlocks in response to them anyway, thinking they're Emma returning home. The mechanism is sophisticated but not really built to be intelligent about it-- and the girls can certainly catch some part of how it works if they're curious. Emma herself smiles and waves the trio in. "Girls. Come in, I'm glad to see you." A pause, as she can't miss the odd dynamic. "Is something wrong?"
"Possibly," says Sophie. "Yes," says Phoebe. Esme shrugs and says, "We're fine."
"The Weapon Program came after our friend Laura again. This time they had hybrid hunters with them. A spider-canine cross," Sophie explains, speaking for all of them. "There were a good number of agents, armoured vehicles, a helicopter. A friend of Laura's eliminated the agents and another friend helped her fight off the hunting beasts. But we wanted you to know that they were active. They crop up once in a while."
The girls aren't all the way in. They've stopped in the main room, but only just inside.
Emma frowns thoughtfully, and tosses her pages onto the couch, peeling her glasses off. the girls are clearly all right themselves-- they we'ren't attacked themselves. And their friend who was seems to have made it out. "Thank you for the warning. I'm not sure they'll come looking for me-- though clearly someone has before, so I can't rule it out. But I promise you if they do... they will think twice before attempting it a third time." There's a pause, and then a gesture. "Would you like to come in? I know it's quite trivial by comparsion, as concerns go, but I could use an opinion..." she quirks a small smile. "Or three."
The girls confer for a moment, then enter together. "What are you working on?" The moment they see it, they're very curious. Their ears would prick if they had little cat ears. "Did you fire your maid?" That's Esme. Blunt as always... sometimes more of a bludgeon.
"I'm working," Emma explains promptly and without further detail, because... they can do math. They're smart girls. Emma's apartment is what Emma needs when she needs it. Right now-- that's a workspace. She waves around, while beckoning them to the kitchen table workspace. "That... is all the larger project. A school. I would say for peple like us, but... not precisely. More than that. But not more than that at the same time." She decides it's easier to just offer them the combined vision in thought form where they can peruse it if they'd like. Sometimes language is just inefficient for complex topics.
"But that is that. What I'd like your input on is of a smaller and more personal nature." Emma rummages through the stacks on the table and starts handing them real estate listings in turn, knowing they can take in three of the things at once. It's all residences. Of a wide variety. Some are penthouses, like this one, some are actual houses. Most of the flyers have notes about how they might be remodeled. All of them have a little more space than Emma strictly needs. "I feel I'm ready for something of a change, but I'm not settled on the details, and thought you girls might have input. This place has served its purpose, but that purpose is complete." She's not at all sad about it. That's just the way life is.
"You're moving." "Of course she is." "Since your school will be in the other city." They're slightly resentful about that. "We told Remy we would come with him." The girls give Emma identical challenging looks. They're still not completely settled about her having anything to do with Remy. He's theirs--but he's also his own, and this is good for him. They don't like the idea of moving.
"How can you live so high up?" Sophie shakes her head slowly. "It seems so open and naked, even on a very big building." She lets her sisters do the looking while she does the talking.
Emma settles into her chair, and nods, while she arrays more of the options for Phoebe and Esme. "It's exposed in some ways," she agrees. "But you can also see people coming from a long way. There are realatively few avenues of approach, most of them obvious or disadvantageous to unwelcome visitors. Circumventing those advantages with a direct attack is difficult to hide from the general populace, which discourages it." A pause, and she settles back, closing her eyes. "And it's quieter this far above the street." Not audio noise, but of course they know she means the distance from the crush of minds in the city.
"Since I've not yet become ridiculous enough with myself to take to the idea of some sort of flying residence in the sky like a particularly ostentatious form of supervillain... it shall have to do." There's another pause. "And I like the view of the park in the morning," she admits.
She doesn't dodge the other topic, though, coming back around to it. "I'm sorry. I know you must not like Metropolis much. Location is important in an endeavour like this. Metropolis has the proper... attitude towards the intent. Gotham or New York would be dangerous choices, especially in the current political climate. And Metropolis has is good points when you get to know it. I think we'll avoid the Hypersector." She considers her next statement before making it. "It seemed important to him to have the offer. I had only intended to thank him for what he's done for you three when he showed up at the door."
"It's the right thing for him." "So we will go with him." "We haven't decided where we're going to live." They're unapologetic about their loyalties. "We always live in more than one place." "Remy understands that." "It's safer that way." "We said we would take a class if he taught it." "But that's all." "We don't like school very much." That's as much of a concession as they'll make regarding the school at all.
Emma doesn't bat an eyelash in the frank unapologeticness. "I didn't, either. It was useful for the piece of paper and the knowledge I could harvest from their minds while studying." Emma sees even less reason to hide her opinions than usual. "The classes themselves were pointless. They didn't have to be. But they were." She shrugs. They can probably feel her arguing with herself about the next part until she makes a decision. "If you would like one of those places to be in that stack," she notes, gesturing at the sheets they're going through, "I would not decline the occassional company." A pause. "Or consider it a promise." And so the reason for her asking their opinion fails to remain unsaid. Ohwell. She may as well be honest, they've probably already worked it out, after all.
"We don't like houses," the girls say. "Worse than apartments." "We like secure places." If only they could fly. That would make them a little safer. "We won't say no to a place." "Sometimes." "As another safe house." They're not willing to turn down a potential resource. And, on some level, it would be comforting to have someone else to turn to in a time of need.
It's a small win, and Emma'd be a fool not to take it. She nods. "I got the impression when you first came here that you didn't care for the decor much," she muses. "And a safehouse should feel comfortable. There are also some special security steps we can take to improve the security. Under the circumstances, a wise investment." She's sliding towards Work Mode again, reaching under a stack of realestate for a sheet of haphazard schematic sketches while she thinks.
Phoebe and Esme go through options in peace while Emma sketches electronics and leaves Sofie free to indulge their earlier interest in the sheets of paper elsewhere in the apartment. It's pleasant enough for a while, to all be about assorted tasks in the quiet company of occupied minds, but eventually Emma decides she's done toying with her ideas. And also that she's done with the white walls of the apartment. She straightens, watches the girls without comment for several seconds, and then speaks up with a slight smile.
"Tell me, girls... do you like shopping?"