12209/A Picture's Worth a Thousand Words

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A Picture's Worth a Thousand Words
Date of Scene: 29 July 2022
Location: Rockefeller State Park Preserve
Synopsis: Cael invites Robbie and Gabby to discuss the evidence she's uncovered about Rien. Robbie arrives angry. Robbie leaves angry.
Cast of Characters: Cael Becker, Gabby Kinney, Robbie Reyes

Cael Becker has posed:
    Cael sent out texts to Gabby and Robbie - asking them to meet her at the Rockefeller State Park Preserve. It's near enough to the New York City area to be convenient - but far enough out of the way to give them privacy - and an extremely low chance of running into anyone that Cael would want to keep from the conveersation at hand. She drove her motorcycle out to the park - a sleek, red, modern thing designed for speed, and she waits at a table near the parking lot, a manila folder in her hands.
    Her messages to Gabby and Robbie had been vague, simply saying she needed to talk to them both soon, and that it was important. She gave a time in the early afternoon - and then headed out immediately.
    If either of them bring 'Rien' with them this is going to get real awkward, real fast.

Gabby Kinney has posed:
Another motorcycle makes it's way into the preserve. It was also red, though less speedy and more... Perfect for the trails here actually. Not knowing what was going on, Gabby had come as quickly as she could, but without the break-neck speeds one might need if it were an emergency.

She pulls into the area, finding a spot to park beneath the shade of a tree, and kicks the stand down to dismount. "Hey Cael," she greets as she jogs over to join her by the table. "So uh..." An uncertain look is cast to the manilla envelope. "We're not getting drafted, are we?"

Robbie Reyes has posed:
Robbie, for reasons yet unbeknownst to Cael, has no intention of bringing Rien to this little meetup. He does however bring the Charger-- which presently arrives with a shriek of tires as he cuts its breakneck burn down the back road, hits the brakes, and oversteers into a wide drift before coming to a stop. The engine's cut, and he climbs out with a *look* in his eyes. Like he wants to tear the next person apart with his bare hands, that looks at him wrong.

"Cael. Hey. What's goin' on?" He looks neither of them in the eye as he shoves his keys a pocket of his leather jacket. Every inch of him is tense, restless.

Cael Becker has posed:
    "Uh..." Cael eyes Gabby for a moment then says, "In a way - yes. But- Let's way for Robbie, huh?"
    Thankfully, it's not a long wait - though Cael eyes him with an uncerain look as she takes in his posture. "I brought some coffee," she remarks, pulling out an insulated thermos, and a few paper cups. She pours it out then adds, "Have a few packets of suger or creamer if you want." She opts for a small splash from a flask instead, though, and she takes a sip before she attempts to get down to the business at hand.
    "I've- well. For a week or two now, I've been looking into Rien's past. There's a reason for that. The Rien //I// remember is not the same Rien anyone else remembers. The day we went into that chip shop in England? That's the day she changed. The Rien I remember is shorter. Blonde, with fair skin, and blue eyes - her magic is blue, too. And none of those creepy smiles, or uncomfortable hugs. She calls Jon, //Jon.// She drinks vodka, pretty much exclusively when she drinks. I told all this to Chas and Jon and they told me- simplest explination. Something has altered //my// mind. That I was the one that was wrong."

Gabby Kinney has posed:
"Of course we'll wait," Gabby assures Cael as she stuffs her hands into the pockets of her jeans. All the better to help trying to grabby hands the folder from growing curiosity. At least she doesn't wait long.

The sound of the Charger and it's erratic, dangerous driving just earns a look of concern. Moreso when Robbie steps out. She starts toward him as he approaches only to falter with one hand reaching out, and hesitating. "Coffee would be good," she admits. "Some of that flask too. For him," she states lifting her chin in his direction. Then, finally she steps closer to him wearig a pained expression as she reaches out to at least squeeze his arm in greeting.

It's then her attention turns back to Cael when she starts to go on about Rien. "Blonde? But no one in our family is..." No, that wasn't true. She pauses, blinking several times as she considers. "Actually. Okay. Two are. Sabertooth and Jimmy, my brother. But the girls have always been..." Another pause. "Bellona doesn't count, she's albino." Rather than continue to protest that her lips purse together with a sidelong glance cast toward Robbie.

Finally she looks back to Cael again, clearing her throat. "... I want to defend my sister. But. Whatever this thing is doing is trying to drive a wedge between us. So. Keep talking. I'll listen."

Robbie Reyes has posed:
"Coffee?" Robbie looks like he's having trouble parsing the word. Like his mind's not all there. Bloodshot eyes with pupils blown to hell, and that twitchiness when Gabby goes to touch his arm. Something's definitely not quite right with him. "Sure," he mumbles eventually, swiping his knuckles across his nose.

The tee shirt he's wearing under his jacket looks rumpled, though at least it's clean. His jeans on the other hand, are sporting a good amount of dried blood. "No," he blurts out quickly, when Cael gets to the part about what Jon and Chas thought of her findings. "No, it ain't just you. I--" His gaze flicks away, then back again. "Look, the Rider's been shouting my fuckin' ear off about her for a couple weeks now. Tellin' me she's wrong, she's empty, she's.. *nothing*. Done everything I could to hold him back from tryin' to skin her alive. And now, she's uh." He swallows, and shares a quick glance with Gabby.

"Well, she left me. Said I don't make her happy. Said I ain't good enough." His lip quivers slightly before he gets it under control again.

Cael Becker has posed:
    "You're plenty fucking good," Cael says flatly and firmly. "Rien is real. I remember her, and she's- She is, or was, my friend. But this //thing// is not Rien, and I don't know what she's done with Rien or if Rien is even still..." She takes a deep breath in, and lets it out slowly. "Well. Either way, we take it out on this monster and find out what really happened."
    She opens the folder now as she explains, "First place I looked for proof - me and Jon's phones, but somehow- everything got re-written with the image of that //thing.// So I went further back. The French Foreign Legion, where she served after World War Two - and the BPRD, where she worked after that."
    The first thing she slides over is a copy of enlistment papers - showing Rien's description and height as matching what Cael just described, a far shorter and more fair individual than the dark skinned woman currently taking her place. "I found that first - which gave me hope, but I wanted- more." Next she slides over a few photos, of Rien laughing and smiling with some men dressed in similar uniforms. Another photo of her sitting seriously taking a photo - in some sort of regiment or platoon. And a single, somewhat grainy shot of her in battle, claws out, while others fight with guns. "That's what I got from the Foreign Legion. //That's// the woman I remember. That's Rien - this other woman... fuck, let Eli tear her to bits, I don't care - as long as we get answers first."

Gabby Kinney has posed:
Gabby Kinney continues to look uncertain throughout the process of Cael explanining. The whole situation with Robbie though--That just didn't feel right to her. Somehow. Yet the more that is mentioned, the more worried she becomes that something IS wrong. And worse yet: SHE hadn't realized.

When the pictures from WWII are produced she reaches out for one to take hold of it, peering at it. The one with Rien fighting claws out. There really was no mistaking that as Logan's kid right there.

"... BPRD you say?" She frowns thoughtfully still uncertain. "I know someone from there. Maybe. Maybe he would know. It might not have effected him." There's a pause for a beat as she explains with a quick glance between the two, "He's a demon himself."

The photo flutters as her hand trembles holding onto it. And for now she goes quiet.

Robbie Reyes has posed:
The reassurance from Cael is.. unexpected. But not dismissed out of hand. Robbie watches her face for a few seconds before shifting his gaze away again, jaw hard like he's trying to keep from crying. Or, more likely, *raging*.

After a minute to collect himself, he prowls in closer for a look at the photos Cael's laying out. Photos that depict a woman he.. does not recognise. His features are twisted with confusion, agitation, as he shuffles through them-- and pauses for a long while on the one of her laughing with a few other uniformed men. He seems for a moment like he might take it; but then pushes it away.

"You're sayin' she's not herself? That *this* is really her?" He runs his tongue along his lower lip, with a flash of silver as he begins speaking again: "That I've been sleeping with-- no. I don't understand. What.. what do you think she is, then?"

A look's shot Gabby's way when she mentions knowing someone from the BPRD who happens to be a demon. "Name?" Because, well, Eli might recognise it.

Cael Becker has posed:
    "Yeah, BPRD," Cael confirms, digging out a few more pictures. These ones those Rien in civilian clothes - and one in particular has her in full 70's disco getup, with her hair teased out, wearing a lowcut halter top dress with the spangly gold heels and bangles at wrist and ears, looking very much ready to boogie.
    "I know this might be hard to understand or accept, but- I mean, the fact is that both the French Foreign Legion, and the BPRD, have records as the same woman - the woman //I// remember - as being Rien. I'm //certain// that //this// is here." She jabs her fingers at the picture with the teased out here. "And any memory you have of her that's more than two weeks old - this," she jabs the photo again, "is the woman who was really there. Something has changed everyone's memories. Even... Jon's. Even the Archive. Even an angel's. I don't know what she is, I don't know how any of that is possible, but- it has to be true."
    She looks between the two of them before adding, "I'm going to bring Chas in on this - he's the only leader of the JLD left right now. I don't know where the real Rien is. I don't know if she's alright, but- I intend to find out. We bring her home safe, or we avenge her."

Gabby Kinney has posed:
Gabby Kinney passes the other photograph back at this point though it takes her a moment to unclench her grip on it so that it can actually drop from between her thumb and forefinger. The paper is a bit wrinkled from digging into it. "... Everyone that's effected as at the chip shop," she points out. "Something to do with proximity? If other records are unaffected. I. I don't know." All she could do is brainstorm and prattle on as she always did. "My sister is missing." And rage. RAGE that some THING had taken her real sister.

It takes a moment for Robbie's words to sink in asking for the name of the person. "Ah. Red... Hellboy. I don't know if he has any other name. He probably does, but I don't know him *that* well yet. Only ran into him a few times, helped him out with some things. Big guy. Big hand."

Robbie Reyes has posed:
The disco hair makes him smile, ever so slightly. Whoever this girl is, she's a knockout. Even in bell bottom pants and ridiculous levels of glitz. Robbie's distracted enough just staring at the picture, and trying to disentangle himself from some odd and intense attraction that leaps out and grabs hold of him.

"Didn't that guy who wrote Sherlock Holmes say somethin' about.. after you eliminate the impossible, all you're left with is the improbable?" He breathes out slowly. The rage is still simmering in him, too, but now it's become honed. Focused on a single thing; and that thing is the creature pretending to be his girlfriend.

"Bring in whoever you want," he murmurs to Cael. "But I ain't stopping until I get her back, or there ain't nobody left to kill." He doesn't remark on whether or not Eli recognises the name Gabby gives him, though. Can't be his real one, anyway.

Cael Becker has posed:
    "I've met Red," cael remarks. "He seems alright." She leaves it at that, before focusing on Gabby to add, "It's bigger than the people who were at the chip shop, or even who are in the JLD. Rien was changed //before// we got to the chip shop," she says firmly. "Remember how I acted outside? When she tried to hug me?" She lets out a frustrated huff of air, then adds, "I called Steve Rogers - they fought together some in World War II, so he knows her. I asked him to describe Rien for me, and he described... that thing. Everyone who ever met her - they all remember that thing And I- ...I don't know why I wasn't changed, but I seem to be the only one who remembers clearly."
    Looking to Robbie she adds, "I'm not much of a reader but- I agree. We don't stop until we wipe this fucking monster out. I think we need to be smart about this though. If it can re-write the Archive, the Avatar of Ma'at, and a literal fucking angel then... it's got power, and loads of it."

Gabby Kinney has posed:
Gabby Kinney swivels on her heel letting the gravel of the path crunch beneath her foot in the process. One hand reaches up to just clutch at the side of her head letting her fingers tangle in her hair while she scowls. Frowns. Looks hurt. The emotions that were currently flitting through her were as confusing and powerful as she'd felt before.

"I'm pissed. I'm angry. I'm... I need to think and clear my head," she utters with a quick shake of it.

"I'll help. Tell me what I need to do. Who we're bringing in. Whatever. Right now though I just..." Again she shakes her head flashing an apologetic look to both without even bothering to try to smile. "I need to run a bit. I'd go home but home is suspect right now so this seems like a great place to go for a run right now. I'll catch up with you later, Robbie. And Cael. Like I said. Just tell me what to do."

Robbie Reyes has posed:
"Eli knows a few Hell Lords. Never had nothin' good to say about any of them. Including Johnny fuckin' Blaze." Maybe he's still a bit bitter about the guy tracking him down at his shop and attacking him, though.

As for the matter at hand, "Sure I remember. I thought you'd lost your mind." He pauses, and a flash of contrition is visible on his face. "Sorry about that." Then it's his turn to reach out and try to touch Gabby's arm as she passes him by. "Va a estar bien, chica. Te alcanzare mas tarde."

Cael gets a firm nod. "I'm in. And I don't give a shit what kind of power it has, it ain't met me yet." Yep, overconfident to a fault.

Cael Becker has posed:
    "God he's the fucking worst," Cael mutters under her breath about Johnny Blaze.
    Yeah. Still some bitterness there...
    "I get the need to run," she adds towards Gabby in a wry tone, giving her a nod. "Go, we'll- we'll figure out when we confront her. The sooner the better, I think."
    Her attention shifts back to Robbie as she adds grimmly, "It has met you. It's met all of us - and it's seen us in action. It's been getting the inside scoop for two weeks. It's been trusted as one of our //leaders.// It's- a spy in our midst, perfectly positioned to sow discord, and mistrust, and feed intelligence to- any of those fucking monsters we're up against. We can't underestimate this shit we're in here."

Gabby Kinney has posed:
Gabby Kinney flashes Robbie a weak smile at the reassurance, and a quick nod. She also nods at Cael with a simple, "Yeah. Burn off some energy." Without any other explanation, or waiting, she just takes off. It starts as a jog and then... She just BOLTS running full out without regard for anything. Not even TRYING to look normal. Not right now. She's soon gone, disapeared into the treeline.

Robbie Reyes has posed:
"You think I don't fucking know what it's been doing?" The flash of anger is quick and hot, but not aimed at Cael. Not *really*. She's just a somewhat convenient target at the moment. "You think I don't understand what it's capable of? IT WAS IN MY FUCKING BED."

He turns and puts his fist through the trunk of a nearby tree. Not a sapling, a full-grown tree. The wood splinters and cracks as his hand plows through it like it's made of paper; followed by the burgeoning sound of crackling and rustling in the canopy as the remainder of it collapses. "FUCK." He stalks to his car, fists clenched like he's not done hitting things, and stalks back again, barely even noticing Gabby's departure. "..if it ain't her, where is she? Where the fuck is she?"

Cael Becker has posed:
    Cael watches Robbie's explosion of temper with a carefully contained, impassive expression - but Robbie could probably sense just how ready she was to move, if she thought he'd lost control of his emotions so completely as to come at her.
    She doesn't think it likely, though.
    As he storms off towards his car, she gathers up the papers and photos that represent her evidence, and she puts them back in her folder. "I'd give just about anything to have that answer. That's the sort of thing I'd turn to Jon to answer. When it comes all this mystical shit - I feel lost. Look, like I said- I hope she's okay, and just being... //held// somewhere. But- Rien's not the sort to sit around and wait to be rescued. And- Jon was saying that these //things// were eating away at her. I-" Her expression falters for a moment. She doesn't want to give up on Rien, but- "I don't know. I hope she's okay."

Robbie Reyes has posed:
Oddly, it's Cael's unfettered calm that seems to settle his feathers slightly. Outwardly, at least, no matter what else is going on inside his head. Of which there is plenty; he's got a furious demon to contend with.

"Rien ain't fuckin' stupid," he murmurs, hoarse voiced from the shouting. "And she ain't weak, either. If anyone could've found a way to survive whatever they did to her, she could." Even if the girlfriend he remembers is dark haired and green eyed, and smiles like the cheshire cat.

"I gotta.. I gotta go." He pauses, meets Cael's eyes for a beat. "Thanks." Then he's prowling back to his car, keys jangled out of his jacket pocket and nearly dropped in his restlessness to go *hurt* someone.

Cael Becker has posed:
    "I don't disagree," Cael replies. "I mean- the way I understand things, most of what you remember about Rien is true, so- yeah. That's the woman I remember, too. Strong, determined - hard to kill. She claimed she was immortal, so- hopefully she's somewhere. I just don't know how to find her. I was hoping you, or Chas, or even Lydia might know. Or maybe we have to pound it out of the bitch that took her place."
    As Robbie starts to stalk off she calls after him, "Hey! Careful driving angry! Don't get anyone fucking killed, you hear me?" She knows damned well what driving angry can do to you.
    She watches him head towards his car, then lets out a heavy sigh - before pulling out her phone.
    'Need to talk, urgently. Away from your place or the VR - where can we meet?' she texts Chas.

Robbie Reyes has posed:
His car peels off with about as much gusto as it arrived, kicking up a heavy haze of dust in its snarling wake. Odds aren't looking good for nobody dying tonight at his hands.