2019-05-28 - Which Is More Deadly, The Lady or The Crocodile?


Kate Kane encounters Regan Wyngarde on the pier whilst she intervenes in a mugging with the use of apparent trained alligators. Suspecting something strange is afoot she invites the woman to lunch to learn more.

Log Info:

Storyteller: None
Date: Tue May 28 05:08:28 2019
Location: Coney Island

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Theme Song



It's a beautiful day in NYC, and the sun is shining. People are out on the Island today in droves, children laughing and pointing at tall men in clownish outfits with balloons for sale for a dollar and lovers walking arm in arm while they scarf hot dogs or cotton candy. The food trucks are out in force as well. It's all because of the amusement park.
On this particular brisk, bright morning on Coney Island it appears that there's an event going down. Someone's had the bright idea to sell ride tickets for half off, and through this they appear to have inspired half of New York City for a visit. The boardwalk, at least, is a bit less crowded but there are still flocks of people traveling in periodic groups. It's perfect day for a pickpocket, or a mugger.
In this case, a young man is wandering too close to one of the alleys, standing in the shadow of a truck that proclaims to sell the "best tacos in NYC!" with a menu written in stilted Mexican Spanish. It's run by a burly man of indeterminate ethnicity. He's staring up at the vehicle, trying to parse the sign, when someone grabs him from behind.
The poor fellow manages a yelp, but the nearby gaggle of cheerfully chatting young women doesn't seem to hear a word.

The alley is dark, cool, quiet, and wreathed in shadows. It's the perfect place for a mugging. At least, that was probably the thought process of the guy doing the mugging. So when he drags his victim back into its recesses, with one hand over his mouth and the other jabbing him in the side — not quite hard enough to draw blood — with a knife, he was probably expecting this to go smoothly.

He almost certainly was not expecting there to be something in the alley behind him, hiding in the deepest shadows. Or maybe hiding is too strong a word. Because, after all, when you're a trio of eight-foot sewer crocodiles, you don't really blend in very well with the landscape.

The crocodiles eye the mugger and his victim. They don't really seem like the sort to discriminate one from the other. But they do seem like the sort to be hungry. And they move forward with deceptive speed, their black eyes gleaming, their jaws gaping in horribly jagged and toothy grins. The one in the lead snaps his jaws shut with a sound that sounds like a gunshot.

"…Drop your wallet and your keys. Kick off those pretty shoes of yours," the mugger mutters to the young man he has by the neck in a low, guttural tone. He's six fout three of lean muscle, in ratty clothes and ragged tennis shoes. The knife, however, is a K-BAR - the heavy combat knife used by the US Marine Corps during World War II. He gives the smaller man a shove, and is just about to shout something at him when a rumbling starts behind him.

The mugger whirls just in time to see the alligators. His eyes bulge like they might pop right out of their sockets and he yelps, dropping his knife with a clatter. The cacophonous clacking of crocodile jaws is /too loud/, echoing through the entire alley way and out to the street. The young man who was being mugged was already in the process of kicking off his shoes. He turns as well, and then promptly trips over his own feet trying to get away. NOW there is abject screaming.

This, combined with the snapping of impossibly strong jaws, does get the attention of people nearby. The gaggle of girls turns toward the alley way. Then the food cart owner. Everyone is staring in stunned silence.ROne such person is Katherine Kane, a tall, lean redheaded woman in jeans and a black t-shirt who was visiting a gift shop nearby, and just emerged carrying a small package under her left arm.

Of all those present, Kate isn't on the verge of panic. She also can't /quite/ see what has everyone's attention. But the silence of utter shock isn't going to last more than a few heartbeats.

The crocodiles, for reasons of their own, ignore the victim — and by 'ignore', it should be understood that what they really do is clamber over him like he's some sort of obstacle — in their haste to chase after the mugger.

Indeed, they chase him all the way to the alley's entrance. They chase him OUT OF the alley, right in front of the aforementioned gaggle of girls. Predictable results ensue, what with screaming and running away and more screaming and, quite possibly, the food truck getting overturned by someone in the process of the screaming and running away parts. On the other hand, this is a mugger who will almost certainly never mug someone in an alley again, and may not ever go near an alley under any circumstances again. So it's not all downside.

Some people appear to think it's not even any downside at all. The blonde in the designer clothes lingering on the far side of the food cart, for instance, is giggling like a schoolgirl as the actual schoolgirls nearby shriek and flee from an all-too-close encounter with Australian wildlife. At least /someone/ thinks it's funny.

The patter of petite feet belonging to the pretty princess of the Coney Island pier culminates in a piercing shriek. The girls scatter in all directions. The Queen bee (whom we shall call "Heather") shoves one of the other girls over in her haste, right into the path of the oncoming crocodiles. "Get *out of my *way*, Beth!" So saying, the beatiful redhead trips over her heels in her haste to run away. The other girls scoop up Beth from the ground and run over the top of Heather. Mostly, it has the effect of ruining her hair in the stampede. When Kate stops to help her to her feet she's crying.

"Get out of here," the redhead murmurs to the young woman before giving her a light shove in the direction of the crowd and her supposed friends. She scampers off. Kate is reaching into her leather jacket for- something. SHe keeps her hand there as she turns toward the alley and breaks into a light jog. As she rounds the toppled food carts she's scanning the crowd. Which is when she notes something peculiar. Red brows furrow slightly as she takes cover beside the spilled tacos and salsa to allow the fleeing tourists to pass.

The people here are divided into two distinct groups: those who are fleeing and those who are laughing. Of that, only tall blonde in designer clothes falls into the latter group.

In the alley, the mugger is blubbering incoherently about his mother and God as the crocodiles are upon him right outside the alley. His victim takes his knife from the ground and runs the opposite way down the alley and out of sigh. Kate is just now getting a good look at what's happening. "…Alligators? …What on earth?" For now, the blonde is set aside. Even Marine Kate has to take a second to reevaluate when she sees those behemoths charging out of the alley.

It won't be too long before Kate, the blubbering mugger, and the blonde are the only people in the vicinity.

As the number of people in the area decreases, so too does the humor value present in the situation, and by the time the victim and the girls have cleared out, Regan is ceasing to find anything worth even a chuckle. Brushing her hands together, she steps away from the wall, giving Kate a curious look as she does so. "See, people say New Yorkers have lost their nerve, they're just not what they used to be. But every now and then, you find someone who hasn't."

Turning toward the alley and the crocodiles, the blonde calls out: "Scott! Hank! Bobby! That's enough. Time to go back down into the sewers. No, you can't eat him this time. Next time, though, I promise."

The reptiles are not exactly obedient specimens. Even if they jumped to obey, it'd take them a little doing to get turned around and head back to … wherever they came from. And they're not really in a hurry. They grumble — or at least give the general impression of grumbling — and eye the mugger and slow-walk the process of leaving. Still. They're more or less doing what the blonde told them to. So far.

"Lost their nerve…?" Kate will ask ,arching a brow. She watches as Regan approaches the trio of hungry reptiles and slowly straightens before moving to follow. "These things are yours?" Her nonplussed expression suggests she was already beginning to suspect as much based on Regan's "unusual" behavour.

The mugger, by this point, has gone all but catatonic, jibbering and pointing as he twitches on the alley way floor. Katherine, for her part, is still staring at all of this, taking it in. Watching as the crocodiles depart.

"You can't just turn creatures like that loose in New York City," Kate objects then. "People could have been hurt." The mugger continues to be stared at for a long moment. Eventually, Regan and Kate stand side by side and Kate takes a deep breath, still studying the fallen would-be criminal. "The police will be here any minute. I think you've done enough."

"Oh, you know the type," Regan says to Kate, turning back toward her — apparently having no fear whatsoever of the crocodiles. "The remember-whens. 'Back in MY day, New Yorkers wouldn't've run screaming even if there'd been a dragon attack. We'd've just thrown cheesecake at it until it ran away.'" She grins, which mostly succeeds in making her look a little bit malicious.

"Mine is perhaps too strong a statement. I understand even their trainer can't get them to do what he wants to all the time. But more or less. Anyway, they're not loose." By now they've pretty much vanished — did they crawl into a storm drain somewhere back in the shadows, or did they actually /vanish/ vanish? Hard to say for sure. "In spite of my little joke, they've never actually eaten anyone. Cross my heart and hope to die. But they're /really/ convincing."

She eyes the mugger with a notable lack of sympathy or even human concern. "And really, when you think about it, he deserved worse. I mean, the guy just was just gonna rob someone and maybe murder him. He's lucky to get off this easy."

"I'm less worried about him-" the redhead jabs a thumb at the fallen man in a crude fashion, "- than I am about the people who could have been hurt in that stampede." She takes a deep breath and holds it for several beats, studying the blonde in front of her from head to toe. It's a scrutinizing stare, one designed to meorize features and file them away.

Kate too wears designer clothing, though less ostentatiously, but most similarities end there. She's more muscular an also several inches taller. "The psych ward will deal with him," the woman finally decides, shaking her head as she does. It is about then that sirens begin to sound. The glow of lights is already approaching.

"Planning to explain all of this to the police…?" The redhead doesn't move. But then, who is going to believe either woman summoned a trio of gigantic crocodiles to accost a mugger on the Coney Island boardwalk?

Only at this prompting, it would seem, does the fate of the bystanders enter Regan's mind. She glances out toward the fallen food carts, and a momentary frown crosses her face … but only momentary. "Oh, yeah," she says, in the manner of someone reminded of an inconvenient but niggling problem. "I forgot about them. Something to keep in mind for next time. Still. Can't make an omelette, et cetera, et cetera."

Regan is certainly distinctive; that's one thing you can say for her. (There are many other things, some of them unprintable.) Nor is she bothered by this sort of scrutiny, as she probably assumes it's just the usual oh-my-god-how-did-you-get-to-be-so-hot kind, and not the database entry kind.

"Well, geez, it took them long enough." And she laughs. Not entirely unkindly. "Sure, I'll just hang out hwere and tell them a couple of giant reptiles drove away a mugger. They'll love that. And where are the crocodiles now, miss? Um … I dunno, they fucked off somewhere? Thank you for your assistance, miss, we'll take care of it from here."

Kate actually breathes a soft groan at that statement. She's shaking her head but despite lifting a finger as if to interrupt can't seem to find a response. Finally, the woman closes her eyes for a second and… Begins to laugh. It's a soft, gently rumbling sound htat causes her whole form to shake as it happens, and finally Kate turns from Regan to scan the pier.

"Let's skip that part," the woman suggests, gesturing toward the far end of the pier. "They'll chalk it up to mass hallucinations. …I have to ask, though. Who *are* you?" That's when Kate glances back over her shoulder at the beautiful blonde. She's waiting for a response, clearly, but also stands expectantly. Like she assumes she'll be followed.

Police are appearing on the pier in a cluster now, but amid the low scale devastaiton they don't seem to have noticed those people still on the boardwalk. Yet.

"They usually do," Regan says, vis-a-vis mass hallucinations, and the little giggle and the grin she gets when she says it are the sorts of things that only in retrospect become 'oh of course THAT'S why she did it' tells. "I just find it's better for everyone concerned if I don't worry too much about police reports. Saves time and prevents any eye-rolling-related injuries." She's willing to follow Kate down toward the end of the pier, her pace unhurried except as is necessary to keep up with the taller woman.

"I'm Regan," she introduces herself, although for the time being she omits a last name. And really this is not at all surprising, all things considered. "Nice to meetcha. So, seriously, how come the alligators didn't spook you? You're not a cop or you wouldn't've blown it off so fast … well, unless you're like a detective or something. Army?" she guesses.

While they walk, the wood of the boardwalk clopping underneath their shoes, Regan happens to glance toward the cluster of police officers. Oh, right. That minor irritant. She doesn't do anything /visual/, but somehow the police will continue to overlook the two of them for the foreseeable future. Possibly because as far as the police can tell, neither of them is there to be noticed.

Kate glances back at the police officers briefly and furrows her brow when she notes they haven't reacted to the two tall women making their way openly across the boardwalk. She doesn't seem inclined to challenge it, however, instead setting a fairly brisk pace. She'll nod when Regan addresses her, scanning the road ahead as they move away from the pier.

Just a block away and things are almost normal. The stampede ultimately amounted to little, and though the police have come in to block things off no one takes the reports of giant crocodiles all that seriously. So business is allowed to flourish, including the pizzerias and small bars that sit adjacent to the pier itself. "Marines," comes the reply. "And it's—- New York has had a lot of issues lately. Monsters, people with powers…" A slow shrug follows. "I don't have the luxury of panicking when everyone else does. In the Corps they teach you to wait to panic until the missions over."

There is a lot of tension in the woman, especially through her shoulders. She carries it well, however. "Kate," she'll finally add, as if it were an afterthought. "So… Regan. Was that the first time you've stopped a mugging? Given… Well, everything."

Once she's looked at them, the cops just become an afterthought to Regan. She doesn't look at them again, or even glance in their direction to make sure they aren't looking at /her/; she just walks on by, like she's doing the boardwalk a favor by walking on it, and it and the rest of the world are there exclusively for her benefit. She doesn't stop being pleasant to /Kate/, mind you, who she's mentally elevated to the level of Temporary Equal. Everything else gets the Queen Elizabeth act.

"Oh, totally," she agrees. "When it's not monsters with powers. I swear, sometimes it feels like the whole city's going to Hell in a shopping cart. I honestly don't think I'd be shocked if that guy from the Bugs Bunny cartoons landed on top of the Empire State Building and put his flag there. The Explosive Space Modulator guy. So it's cool to have people around who aren't really so, like, freak-outable."

Something the redhead said makes her curious, though. "Are you panicking now, then? Inside, I mean? Or, well, probably as panic inducements go, you see stuff in the Marines that makes the crocs look like teddy bears." Thoughts are percolating in her head. But so far she's keeping a damper on the illusions. "If you don't count the times someone tried to mug /me/, then I guess, yeah," she says in answer to Kate's question. "Was pretty righteous! Just have to find a way to do it without freaking the mundanes out."

"Marvin the Martian," Kate supplies, nodding to Regan's metaphor as she does. The woman seems fine with walking past everyone, albeit with a hair more humility than her regal compatriot. She has a rather fixed posture and confident manner which suggests she's used to taking charge but has yet to master the art of actually regarding those around her as beneath notice. In fact, Kate quietly makes note of whatever she passes, often through the periphery of her vision.

"People do like to rob beautiful women in this city," Kate will reply to the blonde's statement about muggings. She arches a red brow at the word 'mundanes', but again keeps any commentary to herself. Instead, she'll lead the way to a restaurant across the way. It's an Italian place with a small but robust bar dominating the far end of the dining room.

"But you seem like you can handle yourself." Kate will hold the door and, if Regan continues, accompany her new companion all the way to a table for two near the bar.

Regan snappoints to Kate when she fills in the correct name. "Him, yes, that guy. I mean, for all I know there actually are Martians, other than that guy in the movie, so maybe it's not as crazy a thought as I'd like to think." The prospect evidently doesn't bother her too much. As she's already demonstrated, she's good at looking not bothered by things.

The compliment draws a sideways look across at Kate, and a slanting smile at the other woman. "Why, thank you," she says. It's a slightly rote thank-you — a sentiment she hears a lot and expects as her due — but the smile elevates it from pre-printed thank-you note level to the handwritten kind, on some nice stationery. Scented, probably. And written with a fountain pen. "So after a while either you get used to them trying, or you get used to walking where they're not as likely to try. I like the first option better. Feels more … liberated. Have you been here before?"

She means the restaurant, but whatever the answer might be, she goes inside without a qualm — another smile to Kate for holding the door! — and follows the redhead across to her selected table, where, her smile brightening a touch with mischievous curiosity, she waits by her chair just long enough to see if Kate will hold /that/ for her, too.

Kate does indeed get the chair before cirling to her own seat across from Regan. "I have, yes. A few times. It's a good place if you don't mind that the food isn't all that authentic.." As Kate relates this her own smile slowly grows, bringing some light to those intensely serious green eyes.

The marine removes her jacket and puts it over the back of her seat, revealing the tattoos decorating her arms. Blood red roses on thorny vines, some Judeo-Christian imagery among the 'garden'. A star of David. She'll lean forward slightly in her seat and cross her arms, studying the woman in front of her.

"I have to agree. I won't change where I walk for them. Or anyone else," Kate replies, with a slow nod. There's a hint of mischief entering her gaze as well, however. "Would you like some wine? They have a good selection here." The price of the wines- and the quality- ranges widely, from affordable to slightly absurd. Kate doesn't seem to be overly concerned, however. Then again, given her genuinely unflappable demeanor, she might well respond to bankruptcy with a shrug. Or at least, so it seems in this particular moment.

"Are you from New York?"

Settling into her chair, Regan glances back over her shoulder at Kate and dips her head slightly in thanks. "Your father brought you up right, I see," she says. "Oh, I don't mind at all. The thing about authentic is, it's always the same, and, well, who doesn't want to try something a little different once in a while?" Despite her attitude, she doesn't have especially good posture at the table — she's relaxed and casual, leaning back in her chair rather than sitting up straight.

The ink draws her attention, probably not surprisingly; she doesn't overtly gawk or stare or anything, no, but her gaze travels up one arm and down the other and takes in what there is to see there there. If she has any thoughts — of course she does! — she reserves comment, other than to answer the redhead's question. "Of course," she says, vis-a-vis the matter of wine — quickly enough that it indicates a habit. Perusing the wine list, she offers her opinions: "The Monfortino is really excellent. I'm this-way, that-way on the Nebbiolo — the older vintages can be a little balsamic, and that's fine except when it goes too far. Unless you prefer something more … conventional?" It's almost a dare!

"No, I'm not a local. I was born and raised in Monaco." She has no hint of a French accent, and she confirms the reason why a moment later: "But my father was a New Yorker. Well, of a sort, anyway. He thought I'd be better off growing up somewhere other than the city. I'm still not sure whether he was right or wrong." No mention of her sister, of course.

"I'm not a very conventional girl," Kate replies with a sly smile. Like she's accepting that dare with only the barest thought. "The Monfortino then," she'll announce without too much of a thought. Or checking the rather egregious price of the bottle wine in question. Instead, Regan gets to have and keep Kate's fullest attention. She purses her lips briefly, adjusting slightly in her seat as if to show off the tattoos in more detail.

"Monaco? I've only been briefly." Kate switches to a fluent, slightly accented French. "How are you enjoying the city so far?" It's a seamless transition, and only the keen eared would know she's not a Native speaker of the language. "It's… Interesting. You've mentioned people trying to mug you a few times already." Kate makes a bit of a face at that notation, but she'll let it lay.

"And also, I have to ask… What *is* with the crocodiles? You mentioned 'mundanes' earlier. People who aren't crocodile whisperers?" She arches a brow at this while she waits for a reply.

The wine menu is closed and set aside to signal that they are ready to order.

"A woman after my own heart," Regan replies, and raises an imaginary glass to her tablemate. If this was a test — either of conventionality or pocketbook size! — it was evidently passed with flying colors. "I think you'll really enjoy it. Some people take a little while to get a taste for it, some people are into it right away, but just about everyone enjoys it eventually."

Her French is equally fluent, with just a bit of southern flavor to it — southern France, of course, not the southern United States. "Oh, you ought to spend more time there," she enthuses, as though vacations to Monaco are a thing that just drops out of the sky for the fortunate and favored. "I do like New York, now that I've been able to spend some time here, but — it's not home, is it?" Switching back to English without pause, she continues: "Yes, there's crime, but there's crime everywhere, really. And in all fairness I /am/ almost asking to be mugged, going around all by myself in expensive clothes. I think they call that 'entrapment'," she adds, almost-but-not-quite smirking.

"Oh, that!" Meaning the alligators, of course. "That's just a little trick I picked up on my travels in the Orient, in my youth," Regan says, with obviously broad humor. "It comes in handy sometimes. But really when I say 'mundanes' I mean — " For almost the first time in their admittedly brief acquaintence the blonde pauses to think about her answer. "People who aren't like you and me," is what she finally settles on. "People who like the world mundane and expected."

"Mundane and expected? Sounds like code for 'boring'," Kate replies softly. The wine will soon arrive and before long each woman has a glass of it. Kate converses with the young man who brought the wine in Italian for a second, then asks for the bottle to be left on the table before sending the fellow on his way. Soon enough, Regan has all of the redhead's attention once more. She lides back into English without a second thought.

"You learned to summon alligators in the Orient," Kate will repeat back, with no small amount o f amusement in her gaze. She nods, however, rather than continuing to press the point. "That does sound like a pretty useful talent to have. Especially if you intend to go looking for trouble in the mean time."

Regan gets a second look now, another evaluatory stare with a hint of appreciation to accompany it as her lunch companion is measured carefully against whatever standard the marine has set for her. So far, she appears to have made the cut so far as Kate is inconcerned.

"Do you, though? Go out looking for a fight, I mean. Hoping someone will cause trouble so you can -put a stop to it?" Both eyebrows rise, adding some momentum to that quesiton as Kate moves to sip her wine. She does so as one familiar with high society. However she happens to be dressed.

"Right?" Regan says. "And that's why you're not a mundane. Because it'd be boring to you, not comforting, or reassuring, or whatever euphemism they'd pick for it. Boring." She samples the wine once it's poured — having ignored the sommelier entirely — and is evidently satisfied, since she keeps the glass in her hand to sip steadily on. Oenophile or just a garden variety alcoholic?

"Oh, I don't really go looking for trouble, honestly," Regan says, smiling under that intense scrutiny as if it's just what she were hoping for. "It's more that … well, I refuse to change anything about my life just because it might cause me trouble. And …" Her eyes narrow slightly, her head tilts a touch as she studies Kate. "Well. Something tells me you understand that perfectly. You don't look to me like the sort of person who'd cross the street just to avoid getting hassled about something you feel strongly about. Or even something you feel sort of 'enh' about."

Setting down her glass, she leans forward in her chair, propping her elbows on the tabletop, her own blue eyes focused on Kate's green. "Tell me I'm wrong."

"I could but I'd be lying," kate will allow. SHe continues to stare into Regan's eyes for a long time then, letting the silence settle between them. This is broken only ba moment spent sipping on that glass of wine cate is holding. She takes the time to swish it about, aerating the verage with casual motions of her right wrist.

"I don't hide who I am," Kate relates then, in a near whisper. She somewhat reflexively glances at the tattoos up and down her arm before returnign her gaze to Regan's intense blue eyes. Now Kate sets her own glass aside, shifting forward slightly once more. She looks as if she might say something more when, perhaps abruptly, it is time to place an order.

The smiling woman who is offering to take down their meals seems cheerfully unaware that she might be interrupting anything. Kate's order goes by in carefully clipped, precise Italian. It seems like one she might have made plenty of times before.

Talkative as Regan often is, she can still be quiet when she thinks it might be more interesting that way. This is one of those times. So she sits — though she does sit back a bit, rather than continue to lean on the table — and gazes back at Kate, enjoying the wine and prepared to wait to see where this leads.

When the redhead speaks up, a little spark in her eyes brightens, and there's a bit of eagerness in her — and then, at just the wrong time, they're interrupted.

Just for a second there's a flash of anger in Regan's face — who's this woman who thinks it's her place to butt in on her conversation? She controls it quickly, though, and after Kate orders, the blonde spreads her hands in a gesture of helplessness.

"My Italian's a little rusty," she says, her gaze on her tablemate rather than on the waitress. "But I do love hearing it. Order for me, won't you? I'm sure you can pick something I'll like."

"Alright." Kate does order for Regan, thoug hthe other woman would likely make out a few familiar words. Caprese, for example. She orders the spaghetti al pomodoro e basilico, of all things, and all of it in that perfect Italian. Soon enough the waiter as gone and then all of Kate's attention is back on the woman across form her. Watching that flash of anger, and all of the minutia of expression which works its way across the blonde's features.

"Not many people really know anything about themselves. Or the people around them. Just masks on top of mask," the redhead is saying now. She's studying Regan's reaction intently. Thinking. Kate has a way of brooding that makes her seem bo dynamic and intense as she delves into deepest thought.

"Tell me a secret about yourself," Kate suggests. "I'll share one too. And then we'll be closer to knowing one another than not?"

With the source of anger gone, Regan is quickly calm again — on the surface, at least. She takes another sip of wine to finish the process, and only then does she admit, "I /do/ hide who I am. Not because I'm worried or ashamed of who I am, though — just because it's fun." The smile's made it's way back onto her face, now.

The question only makes her smile wider. She answers not in English, but in excellent Italian — a bit accented, not quite so fluent as Kate's is, it'd still be more than adequate for ordering dinner. "My Italian is actually fine," she says, "I just wanted to see what you'd pick if I left the choice up to you. Is that close enough to a secret? I do have plenty more."

"You started small, I will too. It's up to you to escalate," Kate replies, swapping back into French as she does. "My turn, however. I was impressed by how easil you dealt with thatm ugger. …Even if there were complications." She doesn't bat an eye relating this, instead reaching out and scooping up her drink so that she can sip on it while waiting for her tablemate's reply. Kate is settling back into her seat, apparently finding the exchange of sensitive information in low tones and foreign languages to be somehow calming.

Regan handles the language transition with aplomb; her French is better, anyway, so she's probably just as happy. "That's not really a secret," she says, with a laugh; "I knew that already. But you probably had guessed mine, too, so that's only fair. One moment …"

This one takes a bit longer to ponder. She must want to come up with something good, something worth the telling, rather than just the everyday banal "I kissed my first boy when I was eleven" sort of secret. Eventually what she settles on is: "The mutant terrorist, Magneto? He sent me a birthday card once."

Kate arches a brow at this comment but nods once, perhaps to herself. She sips lightly on her wine once more before setting the glass aside. The woman curls her fingers against the table cloth i nfront of her now and draws a slow, measured breath. It's held for a couple of beats while Kate meets Regan's eyes. She's letting the silence settle in. Cool. Collected. Completely confiddent.

Finally, Kate exhales slowly and relates in a murmur, "When I was 12 my mother, twin sister, and myself were kidnapped by a group of gunmen who wished to blackmail my father," she relates slowly, teasing each word whiel she watches Regan's expression.

"My father will never stop looking for the ones who evaded capture that night."

A beat. And then Regan says, perfectly serious: "I think you escalated way past me that time. I was only six when he sent me the card! And no, I'm not related to him, if you were wondering. He and my father were acquainted. It was a friendly gesture. Not at all … political." Which revelation only raises more questions than it answers, really.

She drums her fingers on the tabletop. "I'm not sure I can think of anything to escalate further than that," she says, thinking. "Unless you are looking for an excuse to bring the evening to a close earlier than anticipated? But it would be a shame to waste the wine and the food we've already ordered." She just sounds better in French. Classier! More educated.

"I wanted to see how you would react," Kate replies honestly, still in French. She's apparently spent some time perfecting it, and seems to relish the opportunity to speak that language with someone else who properly understands. She draws her hands back to her lap, shifting slightly in her seat while she studies Regan's features from across the table. A deep breath follows. "Was that too much?" She asks, arching a brow. As if daring Regan to continue with the game. Or at least acknowledge a graceful defeat

"You don't need to match that level of escalation," Kate finishes with a soft laugh. "But instead you owe me something." She lifts a finger then, as if to wag it briefly at Regan. "Your full name, at least." It is now that plates of steaming food are bieng conveyed to the table. The waiter shows no sign of understanding their conversation, spoken as it is entirely in French.

"And I've played right into your hands," Regan says, feigning dismay (she even puts the back of her hand to her forehead, dramatically, like she's in a Victorian novel). "Is that true? I thought you were winding me up. What a terrible thing to happen, at any age, but all the more so when you're so young." Now that she's had a moment to digest Kate's revelation, and defuse it with a joke or two, she can be horrified. Sympathetic, even, and by all appearances it's sincere sympathy.

"Mind you," she continues, "if someone were to kidnap /my/ sister I would be more than happy to let them keep her. Pay them to, even. But my case is not so much the common one. Too much? Well, that is the question for you, not for me. It all depends on how much you wish me to know and how much you wish to keep from me." She makes a broad, sweeping gesture with one hand, eloquently expressing the uncertainty of the world.

"My name?" she echoes, and can't suppress a little smile of bemusement. "Well, I cannot gracefully refuse, or else I will be outplayed, but perhaps you will agree that giving it to you represents an escalation all its own. My name is Regan Severine Wyngarde."

Alarm bells. That's not a common surname, and even less common are people with that surname whose fathers are "acquainted" with prominent mutant terrorists.

"You say that I escalated far beyond you. My revelation concerns something that happened sixteen years ago," Kate replies slowly. A brow arches in response to the name that is given but other than obvious recognition there's no indication of a huge shock. Kate may not have known who it was she was speaking to but it's obvious she was expecitng something - interesting- to come of it.

Finally, the marine takes a deep breath and holds it for a couple of long beats. She raps her fingers lightly against the edge of the table before reaching for her glass of wine once more. "Katherine Rebbecca Kane," she'll reply, by way of introduction. "It's a pleasure to make your acquaintance. Properly."

The alarm bells have been ringing since Regan first appear on the pier. By all accounts of Kate's expression she's finally made her way to the fire. Plates are laid out and the waiter gently dismissed. Kate takes the opportunity to refill their glasses of wine. "This… Definitely beats having a business lunch with one of my father's war buddies."

"Sixteen years is a long time," Regan says, "but not long enough, I'd say. I'm not sure how long would be enough. The blonde is watching her tablemate curiously, waiting to see how she deals with the introduction — and apparently the answer is 'with good manners.'

"The pleasure's mine," she returns, picking up her wineglass and raising it in ironic salute to Kate before drinking. Only then does she take up a fork to sample her supper. "And I would hope so! I'm sure I'm much more charming than they are, and also" — here she flashes a smug smile — "more pleasant to look at it."

"Yes, on both counts," Kate replies somewhat wrily. She takes a deep breath then and holds it for a couple of beats before taking up her fork. "We should eat before our food gets cold. But while we do I hope you'll tell me more about the most interesting thing in the room." A beat. "You, of course." There's a iwnk, and then another of those confident smiles as she surveys the blonde one last time, nodding slowly. "I hope you like it. This is one of my favourites."

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