(2016-04-29) An Intersection of Agendas
An Intersection of Agendas
Summary: Tabitha gets disappointing, and paranoia inducing news about her prospective family.
Date: 2016-04-29
Related: Plot: Creation Myths
NPCs: Cynthia Porter, Peter the Albino, Old Man with a Cane
Scene Runner: Tabitha
Players:
tabitha..

It's a pleasant enough day in Augusta, Maine. Partly sunny with only a bit of breeze, and far enough from the ocean to have a reduced humidity. All told, not a bad day to experience a possibly life altering event.

Sitting at a table in a promenade at the edge of Capitol Park across from the Maine State Legislature, Tabitha Jones was toying with the edge of the black knigh watch cap held in her hands. With her was her DHHS case worker, Cynthia Porter, looking a bit cross but also being as supportive as she knew how. Now Cynthia wasn't bad as a case worker, but her views on what was right and appropriate were rather… specific. So when Tabitha arrived today wearing not her 'proper' blouse and skirt, but rather her best jeans, t-shirt, and a blue flannel hoodie she was a bit put out about it.

Not that she could do anything about it, which was the entire idea. Tabitha had been prepared to doll herself up in the 'Sunday go to meeting' outfit Cynthia prefered, but then had a serious sit-down with herself. She thought about the words her friend Felicia had said about being honest with herself and with those who were coming to possibly make her their daughter. Eventually, she agreed with that wisdom. If they truly wanted her, then they would want the real her. But not her powers, not until she knew things were going well.

There hadn't been much conversation betweeh her and Ms. Porter, which suited Tabitha just fine. But as it came closer to the alotted meeting time, she got up and started to pace around the table. She was getting nervous and as her nerves got keyed up she could feel her aura wanting to be let loose from the tight confinement she had it under. No way was she going to lose control in front of Ms. Porter, especially since (somehow) Master Nathan had managed to keep the existence of her powers out of her file.

Finally she couldn't take standing relatively still any longer. "Ms. Porter, I need to burn off some of this nervous energy. I've got ten minutes or so, so I'm thinking I'll go for a quick run around the park."

Cynthia looked up from her book with a raised eyebrow, then nodded thoughtfully. "Alright, dear. But do not be late, and don't leave the park." She looked at her watch and made a thoughtful humming sound. "I'll go get us something to drink while you're gone."

But Tabitha didn't hear the last part as she was already dashing down the walkway at nearly her top mundane footspeed. She'd always been in top physical shape growing up, and could very easily have been a top athlete if she hadn't discovered the pull and obession of music. But running was something that calmed her mind, the easy rhythm of footsteps that took little effort or concentration to maintain. And in the relative emptiness of the park at this time of day, no need to worry about running into anyone.

At least, that was the theory.

Rounding a corner where the path curved around an ancient tree, Tabitha found her feet getting tangled up in the end of a cane held in the hand of an old man she could swear had not been there three seconds ago. She went down in a tangle, only just barely keeping herself from absorbing the impact with her aura. Down on the ground she turns her head to glare at what turns out to be an dapper old man in an old fashioned suit and hat who is reaching down to help her up.

"I am so very sorry, child! I really must watch where I'm sticking that thing." His voice is dry as old paper but clear and strong.

Being herself, Tabitha's first reaction is to flinch as it's her left arm that he's reaching for. Her second is to bite back a crack about 'not being a child', but she can't bring herself to shout at the old man despite the pain in her palms and knees. So she accepts his hand up and says only, "Could've happened to anyone, I guess."

She looks up from brushing herself off to find the old man standing there with an inscrutible expression. Certain that he was staring at her burns, she pulls her left arm in against herself and turns around scowling so he can't see her left side. "Didn't your mother tell you that it's rude to stare?"

She must have blinked or something, because the old man was now standing in front of her again. His manner had changed slightly but significantly with a shift in his facial expression from doddering old man to stern patriarch. "Didn't yours tell you to respect your elders, Sefirah?" He reached out and grasped her left shoulder faster than she could pull away. Her vision became washed out in white light. She could feel herself falling, but couldn't feel her body.

She came to sprawled on the ground with aches in her hands and legs from where she caught herself after tripping on the broken sidewalk. "Gah… you'd think that they'd have good maintenance this close to the fucking capitol building." Standing up and brushing herself off, she then started to go find a more secluded spot. No point in going back to Ms. Porter scraped and bleeding, after all.

As she was standing inside a tight clump of old growth trees, letting her aura out enough to kick her healing into gear, she heard a voice on the other side of a tree trunk. "Almost forgot. I know it's two days early, but Happy Birthday." She looked around once her aura was pulled inside again, but didn't see anyone around. Deciding that it was probably just a distant voice picked by her aura's sensory extension she started back towards the table she was sharing with her case worker.

Ms. Porter was walking back towards the table as Tabitha approached. The case worker was talking with a tall, thin man in a dark suit and wide brim hat that from what she could tell from a distance was either a vampire or an albino. They were both carrying food and drink from one of the diner trucks, which they placed at the table. When Tabitha arrived, the albino was taking one of the drinks for him self while Ms. Porter sat down with the food.

Cynthia nods to Tabitha with a small tight smile, acknowledging her timely return, then places an order of hot dog and fries in front of her while the albino passes over one of the drinks. Tabitha doesn't sit down yet, because she knows Ms. Porter. And as expected, Cynthia remains standing in order to introduce the albino. "Miss Jones, this is Peter. He works on the national adoption database, and I… I'm afraid he has some bad news."

Tabitha shakes Peter's hand, offering the albino a friendly smile. She's drawing her arm back across the table when bad news is mentioned. She can't help the feeling of her heart dropping into her feet, but outwardly she keeps it from her voice when asking, "So they're not coming? They find a better deal, maybe decide to go with a newer model?"

Peter's voice is velvet smooth and filled with regret as he shakes his head and responds to Tabitha's questions. "No, child. I'm afraid they never existed in the first place. Our computers were breached and the hackers inserted a search program for all girls of ages twelve to seventeen in the Atlantic states, then initiated information requests as if they were interested in adopting these girls. In all there were over sixty girls who had their information sent to these people, whoever they are."

As the explanation continued, Tabitha sat down hard in her seat. To say she was shocked would likely be the month's biggest understatement. "So someone out there managed to trick a government computer system well enough to get the personal information and location of several dozen young girls, then continued to trick the people using that system enough to arrange getting those same girls alone in private?" She shifts her gaze, and the accusation in it, from Peter to Ms. Porter and back a few times. "Am I understanding this right?" She takes a long pull of the lemonade, her lips puckering from unexpected sourness. "Gah… I think they changed their recipe."

Cynthia and Peter exchange looks heavy with meaning, then Cynthia nods. "Yes, that sums it all up. I didn't know about this until Peter called while you were running. He was already here trying to track the breach on your records and noticed your meeting was today. Others representatives are getting in touch with the rest of the girls. But the records they were able to steal didn't have your address or contact information. I keep things like that in a file cabinet, not a computer."

"Well, that's something at least." Tabitha has never really hated Ms. Porter, but now she's close to actually liking the overly prim lady. She looks up at Peter again and manages a smile she hopes appears grateful. "Thank you for telling me in person."

"I could do nothing less in good conscience, child." Peter tips his hat at the women before turning around and walking back towards the edge of the park and the various government buildings beyond.

Watching him leave, Tabitha contemplates taking a bite of the hot dog to help clear out the sour taste in her mouth, from the lemonade and the news she was just hit with, but her appetite is now non-existant. Not being the kind of person to waste food, especially food someone else bought for her, she shrugs to Ms. Porter. "I guess I'll take it back with me. Not much point in staying in town, now."

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At a nearby corner of the park, an old man in a dapper suit and hat stands in a tree's shadow, watching as the conversation takes place and the albino walks away. There is a slightly sad look as he watches the man go back inside one of the office buildings. Then later he's still standing there was Tabitha and Cynthia drive away. As they pull out of sight, he looks down at the hand not currently being used to hold him up via the cane. On the palm is a delicate trace of luminescent lines like embedded circuits arranged in a rosette pattern. He lets out a small sigh and shakes his head.

"I just hope it proves to be enough."

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Across the street in the lobby of the Human Rights Commission building, the albino walks up to a group of four people talking in a corner. The two men and two women turn to face him at his approach, their casual attitudes shifting to formal nods of greeting. He looks at each of them, then turns to look back out the door towards the park.

"Tell the others to call off their searches. She's here, and she's still inactive. She didn't recognize me. She hasn't even managed to heal her injuries or trigger her growth phase. She ingested the trackers, so this shouldn't take very long at all."

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