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2046-02-19 Artistic License

From X-Factor

Artistic License
Date Posted 2016/02/19
Location Trendy Art Gallery - Chelsea
Participants Irene, Kade, Kaylee, Rohan
Summary A statue unveiling has attracted some unwanted attention due to the controversy around its erotic content, and the gallery wants things to go smoothly. XFS is on the scene.
Scene GM Huruma
 
Art. Some of it X-rated. And not in the mutant way, if you know what I mean.


X-Factor Solutions does sometimes get the swanky gigs after all. At this particular art gallery in Chelsea, an exhibit has been queued up that has given rise to quite a few offenses, complaints, and threats; the piece in question was unveiled at the beginning of the early evening cocktail party, a colorful and crowded affair of all types. The piece in question is definitely not everyone's slice of cake. It's a large erotic sculpture, several feet tall and cordoned off in the central part of the gallery's first floor. The subject matter is delicate enough that on one hand, it is art and a critical look at society. On the other hand, it is remarkably crude in doing so. From an art perspective, it's a success.

From other perspectives, it's a target, as is the party in the gallery. A handful of X-Factor's even hands have been delegated to the work tonight to keep everything going smoothly. Just don't look too long at some of the art, because much of it is from the same artist who has pieced the statue. A most awkward job, surely. There are refreshments, at least, and they are welcome to those so long as they keep up.

Kade is dressed up for this particular job. Hair and goatee trimmed, and wearing a light gray suit that - while not the height of fashion - blends with the crowd well enough. He's gotten himself a drink from one of the trays that's being passed around, but if one looks closely it's just sparkling water. A prop he can have in his hands while keeping an eye on the festivities. He doesn't gawk at the art on display, but he doesn't seem shy about looking at it. A couple pieces earn a smirk, others a little nod of appreciation.

Rohan, clad in a charcoal suit with a dark purple shirt and no tie, helps himself liberally to canapes but avoids the drinks. He's working. He regards the sculpture with a twist of his mouth. "This is New York," he observes offhandedly to the others. "They've seen so much you'd figure they'd be a lot harder to offend by now." He keeps his gaze keen, scanning the crowd.

Kaylee, too, dressed respectably enough for the party, though not so much so that it would impair her ability to fight. She's making a point of studying the crowd, which conveniently enough keeps her attention /off/ the spectacle of the statue. "People can always find something new to be offended by."

Irene is security at this event and doesn't really make any effort to hide this fact. She's dressed in a dark suit that fits well, but the style definitely looks more suited to court appearances than fancy parties. Still, it's formal enough and unassuming enough to work for this job. She doesn't mingle with the crowd as much as watch them with a critical gaze, moving idly around whenever someone catches her eye for a moment. "I don't understand art," she mutters, not for the first time this night.

"Sometimes it's not about understanding the art, it's about thinking about your response to it," Kade says to Irene. "Pieces like this are designed to provoke a reaction." He sounds thoughtful more than anything else. His eyes also skim over the crowd, not exactly critical, but watchful, and he drifts in the general direction of Rohan and Kaylee. "Evening. Spot anything interesting?" He adds, "I haven't yet, but the night is young."

"No one actually understands art," is Rohan's opinion. "Not in any sort of objective way. It wouldn't be art if people didn't argue over it constantly." He glances to Kaylee, and notes, "I think we should rent gallery space and stage a show that consists entirely of thirty-nine versions of the Tardis." His gaze skips over Kade, and he only says, mildly, "Cocktail sausages."

It's okay, Irene. Not even all artists understand it, much less the people here at the party. They can overhear a conversation here and there about the 'vision' of something, or the 'bold underhandedness' about something else, but by and large the conversation is a subdued volume and full of people wanting to sound like they know what they're talking about. Such is the life. Kade has it right-- it's about what makes people react, even if only through talk.

With the onset of drinks there have only been one or two moments of tipsiness from the patrons; otherwise their presence here seems to be too much of a good thing. What was the gallery so afraid of?

"Not one gorram thing yet," Kaylee replies to Kade, with a shrug. She remains far enough away from the centerpiece to be able to keep an eye on the room, but close enough to react quickly. "Other than a lot of art that makes me think of things teenagers draw when they're trying to deliberately be 'adult' and offensive, anyway." Rohan's remark earns a laugh, however. "What, only thirty-nine? Do they have to be canonical versions, or just interpretations on a theme?"

Irene slides a look over to Kade as he offers his opinion on art. "Thanks," she says, dry and not actually at all thankful for that explanation. Or Rohan's, frankly, but he gets slightly less of a look for it. She glances at one of the pieces of 'art' again and just shakes her head. Overhearing the conversations of some of the visitors has clarified little, other than people art talking about the things in the gallery. So that's...good? Look, she has no idea and doesn't really care about art. "Eh," she says dispassionately.

Kade snorts in response to Rohan's mild comment about the party favors. More seriously he asks, "You can sense other psionics, right? I've been wondering if the exhibitors are worried about, like, emotional manipulation of the stuff this provokes. Makes as much sense as anything else." The low-key nature of the event so far hasn't really lulled him. Kaylee's comment about teenagers gets a snicker. "I used to think if I could frame my daughter's finger-paintings right I could sell it for a mint. Did not ever find the right gallery, alas."

"Not necessarily," is Rohan's curt response to Kade's question. "Depends on what they're doing. I'm not a telepath." He adds, "And the cocktail sausages are distinctly mediocre. You'd think they could do better." He's a food professional. He takes another just to confirm his critique. "Thirty nine," he repeats to Kaylee. "Interpretations on the theme. We could encourage the patrons to consider the number thirty nine and what exactly it has to do with time and relative dimensions in space."

The bit of grouping around the main attraction, as it were, seems to be people taking its presence quite seriously, discussing the lines and exaggerations of the sculpture.

There are two things that catch their eyes, trained as they are. One is a young lady in a long blazer that looks positively livid about something, though there is nobody in her vicinity to indicate why. The other is a man in heated discussion on his Ears, speaking in what sounds like Italian to a ghost on the other end of the line.

"Thirty-ninth century?" Kaylee suggests to Rohan dryly, even though she keeps an eye on the crowd. Upon spotting the angry woman -- well, maybe it's just a reaction to the art? -- she starts to move in that direction. Not quickly or threateningly, but enough that she's definitely going to end up near the woman.

Irene lifts her brows at the mention of psionics. There is no attempt by her to follow the discussion on 'tardises' or whatever, because that makes about as much sense to her as the more in-depth conversations about art happening around the gallery. At the mention of framing kid art, though, she quips. "Well, this certainly isn't children's artwork." There is way, way too much detailed, accentuated and weird anatomy happening around here. "Anyone here speak...Italian? Spanish?" She asks of the XFSers.

"Spanish," Kade replies to Irene in the affirmative. "Which isn't as close as it sometimes sounds, but I might be able to pick up a little." He drifts over toward that fellow having such a heated discussion in his Ear, for his part, though he tries to do it subtly. Oh, look, a tray with the mediocre cocktail weenies in the vicinity. He busies himself getting some, though the majority of his attention is on listening and trying to parse.

"There is no answer," Rohan says to Kaylee. "The question is the answer." He sounds positively sage. He glances toward the livid young woman, and raises a brow. "Excuse me," he says. "I'm going to go and try to be charming." He drifts toward the woman, plastering on a smile.

"Good luck with that," Irene says to Rohan, sounding a little skeptical. For some reason. She heads roughly the direction of the man on (presumably) a call, so she can tell Kade, "See if you can't get the gist of what he's yelling about."

It's definitely Italian; some of what Kade picks up sounds like business talk. 'You should have had it ready last night', mixed with 'I can't believe you let me deal with this on my own'. He's middle aged, face burying in his hand as he sulks to himself and listens to his Ear. He doesn't pay Kade any attention. Just a guy.

The woman, on the other hand, has her eyes set ahead when Kaylee and Rohan come into view; though she doesn't move away from where she's parked herself, her features bend more towards worry as the seconds pass, and then into reluctance. She is debating on the inside.

Right about now is when Kaylee sort of wishes she were a telepath rather than a telekinetic. "You want to go play charming, and I'll play nearby-backup?" she asides to Rohan, quietly. "Because that is the face of a woman who is steeling herself for something."

Kade gets a little plate of cocktail snacks, which he nibbles while being Just a Guy in the general vicinity of the fellow speaking Italian. His brow creases with the effort of followin the conversation, but he can pick up enough of it that staying close seems worth the effort. He clears his throat and says, for his own Ear piece, for the XFSers, "Lots of business talk tonight. Just unsure about what. I will keep trying." It's a bland observation and under-his-breath observation.

"I'm wounded," Rohan informs Irene, with his hand on his heart, and a bright grin tossed over his shoulder before he sallies forth. He inclines his head to Kaylee, just once, and ventures toward the woman, with hopefully disarming grin in place. He drifts a little. "I'm sure it's none of my business," he murmurs toward said woman. "But are you all right?"

"How hard is it to take a phone conversation outside?" Irene grumbles under her breath about people who think their business is so important they can disturb others with it. She scans the room again and tries to keep a watch on both of the current Potential Problem People.

'I'll do it myself' is what Kade can grab from the man next, just before it seems that he hangs up the call on his Ears, his gaze moving up and around in search of something or someone, expression creasing into a stony frown.

The girl that Rohan approaches does see him as he makes that drift closer, and at his delicate intrusion first gives a small, shy smile, a gap between her front teeth showing. Her Eye is on, but seemingly idled. "Hi, uh, what?" It's not the most eloquent reply. "I'm ...fine. Thanks."

Kaylee shifts to stand behind the girl now speaking with Rohan, looking past her at the art. Don't mind her, just enjoying the show.

"Something's up with this," Kade murmurs, very low but quickly, into his Ear. Surely they're all tuned to the same frequency in case things come up. He continues to busy himself in the area /around/ the man rather than doing anything toward him directly. This time, he finds a tray carrying drinks that's going in the same direction as the man, and gets himself a full glass of something. Whatever air he's trying to give off, though, his attention toward the Italian-speaking fellow has only sharpened.

Rohan's smile brightens just a little at that shy smile. "Good," he murmurs. "I just worry when I see a lady not enjoying herself. Even at a dreary occasion like this one."

"Thompson, let me know if things seem like they're about to go sideways on your end," Irene says quietly over their shared comms, which are helpful in just this situation of being split up. She stays with Kade--except not quite next him because them following the dude as a unified pair is a bit obvious.

"Copy, Atwell." Kaylee murmurs this under her breath, even as she continues to study the art. She's totally not paying attention to Rohan and his conversational partner, really.

The gap-toothed smile disappears slightly when Rohan says this, and the young woman's jaw sets. "Are you stuck here too?" Maybe she just doesn't want to be here? "I can't stand any of-- this." She looks up at Rohan with hazel-green eyes, as if asking him to relate to her immediately.

The man that Kade begins tailing more readily finally moves off towards the back of the gallery, edging past other patrons and bumping into a couple along the way.

Kade shifts a quick glance over his shoulder, to get a bead on Irene's position, then fixes his eyes back on the fellow he's tailing. His paces picks up a little, to keep up, though he makes an effort not to jostle anyone. Skirting around the bumped couple in an attempt not to attract further attention.

"Work do," Rohan confides to the young woman. He emphasizes this with a long-suffering sigh and a roll of his eyes before mustering a warm smile again. "It's pretty much all bloody rubbish, isn't it? Not what I call art at all. Imagine putting that on walls.

Irene is making an attempt to ring around more to the side of the man heading to the back of the gallery, as opposed to following directly behind him, but this does mean threading through some groups of people and she has to move both quickly and swiftly to do it. So it isn't exactly subtle, but that dude doesn't seem to much care about anything but his own business.

"Pretty sure she's just steeling herself to try to leave," Kaylee murmurs over the comms to Irene, even as she turns her attention to another piece of art in the exhibit. "Probably a false alarm. Yours?"

"Me too, kind of. Right? This is--" The woman shakes her head in agreement with Rohan, eyes moving to the big centerpiece of the night on the floor. Her features deepen a shade, but she still manages to hold onto her dignity. She puts her hands into the pockets of her long blazer, mouth pursing inward and eyes settled on the sculpture.

As the duo of Kade and Irene come up in the man's wake, he finally turns off and into the restroom behind the crook of a wall. Anyone feel like a chaperone?

"Nature appears to be calling," Kade says into the comms. Waiting a beat - so it doesn't look like he's totally just stepping on the guy's heels - before following the man into the bathroom.

"Rubbish," says Rohan, glancing over his shoulder at the centrepiece, and then back to the young woman. "I know. But," he advises, "think of it this way. They're _trying_ to provoke you. Better not to give them the satisfaction."

"Odd," Irene comments over comms, because if that girl wants to go, why doesn't she just leave? "Probably nothing over here, but I'm not going to check." Kade, that one is all you. "Make sure he isn't shooting up drugs or arming himself or something."

"Well, I'm only hearing half the conversation," Kaylee murmurs to Irene. "But it sounds like she's here for work, and just not enjoying the art. Still, I'm sticking close, unless we spot any other likely targets."

Kade's entrance to the restroom is slowed only by a couple of people heading out of it, and once he is inside there are two occupied stalls out of the set. The man didn't leave through the wall(probably), and closer inspection has his shoes in the bottom of one stall. Maybe he actually just needed to go?

The girl speaking with Rohan gives him a longer look this time, lips parted and gap showing for a moment again while she listens to his words. "Maybe they are. Maybe I shouldn't, no. But this-- it's abhorrent. Someone should do something about it."

It's a men's room, which at least gives Kade excuses to hang around outside the stalls while the guy with the tell-tale shoes does whatever he needs to do in there. Kade steps up to a urinal and fiddles around like he's preparing to go. Not that he actually unzips. That would be committing too much to the bit.

"Like what?" wonders Rohan carelessly. He watches her face, one eyebrow quirked. "See, here's how I see it. If someone...does something about it, it'll never die. All the news outlets will be taking about it around the clock. It'll end up in wikipedia. Let it just fizzle out...and no one remembers. Not with a bang, but a whimper, or whatever it is."

"On the other hand, I /may/ have been wrong," Kaylee murmurs over the comms, even as she moves a little closer to Rohan and his conversational partner.

Irene doesn't hang around just outside the restrooms like a weirdo. She drifts slowly back towards the main gallery, watching the crowd and listening, seemingly idle for a moment. "Try to talk her into leaving. Escort her if you have to. I'm on my way. Caruthers, how're you?"

The guy that Kade followed into the men's room is definitely not going to the bathroom. This is evident by a distinct lack of goings on-- and the subsequent inhale through his nose audible outside of the stall. Maybe Irene was almost right about one thing.

Rohan gets another look, more nervous than any of the last. The young woman doesn't look directly at him immediately. "Like.. like..." She falters, listening. As she is about to answer him again, something in her blazer pocket bursts under the grip of her hand, and something sticky and black runs into the fabric and onto her pantleg. "Ah! Shit! No--"

Kade clears his throat, which echoes a little into the comm. "All right, all right," is his version of a reply to Irene. Hopefully it's a generalized enough thing to say that it can pass for...the kind of stuff men mutter to themselves while peeing. He sees no reason to call for back-up at this exact moment, if the guy's just sniffing coke in the stall, but he does stick around. Just in case he's not.

Rohan's eyes go to that emerging, crawling dark stain. "I think," he says, "that you might need some fresh air." His tone is still friendly, but there's a firmness behind it now.

Kaylee sighs, and shakes her head once. "Not a serious threat, but I think it's time for someone to leave." She straightens up, putting on her best 'cop' attitude as she moves closer to the woman. She's here as security, after all. "Miss? I suggest you take his advice."

"Good," Irene tells Kade and hopes that if that changes he'll let her know. At least there aren't any cars to be thrown around this time. She weaves through the gallery crowd back towards Kaylee and Rohan, to help if needed, though they can probably manage this with the two of them.

Kade has little else to bid him to stay after that-- the sounds are exactly that of a man getting a high, and the snip-tap of a box back into his pockets. If he does stick around long enough, the man will simply exit the stall with a tilt in his step, wash his hands, rub at his nose, and make a hasty exit.

The girl, on the other hand, has no hasty exit plan handy. She tries to hide the thick substance as it crawls down her leg, making its own attempts instead. Hazel eyes dart up at Rohan again, brows knitted when he speaks, "Shit." She gathers her hand in the pocket it's coming from in an effort to stem whatever it is. Smells like a tar mixture, almost; about now there are a couple more people gawking at her state, along with KAylee and her stern commands. Before long she is reaching out to shove Rohan out of her way and scamper for the exit.

Kade heads out behind the now happier fellow. Speaking into his comm to Irene, when he's back in the crowd, "Our Italian friend was just having a little nose candy. I don't think there's any need to make a scene, but I'm going to let one of the gallery attendants know so the staff can keep an eye on him. If we gets stupid, we can discretely show him the door." He's out in time to catch a distant glimpse of attempted shoving, and angles toward it. Though, like Irene, he presumes Kaylee and Rohan can probably handle it for now.

Rohan takes a step to the side. He is not impeding the woman if she wishes to exit herself. He does, however, follow her with long, quick strides, trying to make sure she leaves and doesn't cause any trouble en route.

Kaylee /does/ follow the girl, but only to make certain she /does/ leave.

Irene sighs quietly. Figures. "That's about all we can do," she tells Kade, maybe a little wistful for the time when that wasn't true. Ah well. The girl Kaylee and Rohan were keeping an eye on has made a break for it, which is a far more pressing matter. Although the girl appears to be /leaving/, which is ideal, so she lags behind a little while Kaylee and Rohan follow more closely.

The girl only drips a trail near the front of the gallery, leaving a few stained black shoeprints on the otherwise immaculate polished tile as she moves. When she makes her exit out the front doors, she turns just one look back to Rohan-- and Kaylee by extension. As she moves off they can hear the beep of her Ear, and her answer, a stark 'I couldn't,' fading into the noise of the Chelsea sidewalk.

Kade tries to vaguely keep an eye on the Happy Italian Speaker, but mostly he's looking for a gallery attendant who isn't too deep into the wine. To inform them about the guy getting high in their men's room, and ask them if they want their security for the night to do anything about it, beyond make sure he doesn't knock over anything expensive.

Rohan slows as the woman heads out into the sidewalk. "We don't really have grounds to follow her," he tells Kaylee with a sigh. For the limitations of their duty, or perhaps it's a sigh for the whole situation. "Gallery needs to keep security up, though."

"Well, I guess that's why we're here," Kaylee notes to Rohan with a shrug. "And if that's the worst that happens tonight, it's a good night."

Well, that tile is going to need to be cleaned. Irene keeps one person from stepping in the sticky substance that was presumably meant to be thrown /at/ the art. "Everyone's a critic," she says, like she wasn't the one criticizing only minutes ago.

It doesn't take long for Kade to find someone with a badge from the gallery to pull them aside and inform them; they are more than happy to hear about it and ask him only to keep an eye on the man in question.

The rest of the evening passes rather peacefully, if you discount the verbal argument between the artist and one of the many guests. Not everything ends in fire, and just maybe not everything goes heels up for X-Factor, It's a good night indeed.

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