Umbrella Surveillance System
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Emma Autumn is in full swing now, as the days continue to get colder and colder. The nights are no different, except one can truly feel the chill when the sun has set. This eve, the stars are out, it's a lovely night. They sparkle like crystal across their black backdrop, with a nearly full moon that glows along side them.

Tonight in Jack's Bistro, there will be a performance. And for that reason, it's rather busy. There is a chatter in the air, many tables filled with those awaiting the show. Waitresses move quick, delivering food and drink - which is plentiful here, Within it is warm, a nice comfortable sort of warmth that makes one think summer days.

There is a small stage set up, some chairs, instruments, and a microphone. For now, nobody is on it, but the minutes are ticking down till the band comes out.
Chris Redfield Chris didn't know that a performance was going on tonight, but he's glad he came here for an early dinner and got a corner table, where he sits with his back against the wall so he can see everyone that enters the bar if he so chooses. Habit he picked up from his military days and the fact he's probably a bit of a cautious, some might say even slightly paranoid kind of guy.

There is plate in front of him with some salad, a half eaten sandwich, a glass of water and a cup of coffee that he occassionaly sips from. Redfield is reading an American newspaper, glancing up when the door opens but for the most part seems engrossed by the sports section as the band sets up on the stage. His expression is as always hard to read but he is sporting a black eye, his left one to be exact which seems pretty recently obtained.
Isabel Normally, Isabel does her own cooking, but tonight she felt strangely restless, full of a need to get out from behind the same four walls of her cheap Parisian flat. So she'd taken a walk to stretch her legs and mind. How she came to be here, she's not sure: It's where her feet took her this night.
She definitely looks out of place in her old fleece-lined denim chore coat, one of the few connections to her old life that survived Raccoon City and everything since. Even a deep red scarf doesn't make it stylish, though it does help against the near-winter chill outside, as do her suede winter boots and knitted white cap, pompom and all.
The corner table is taken, its occupant hidden behind a newspaper, so she finds one close to it, settling into a chair so she can see who comes in and out. After that bomb last week, she'd rather not take any chances on someone coming in that she doesn't see. Though... it's hard to see much of anything with the crowds. Did she miss a live appearance announcement or something?
It's awfully crowded. Maybe this is a mistake.
Buck Rogers Buck Rogers has a table to himself. There's something off about the man-- it takes a moment to put one's finger on it, but then, in a great burst of understanding, the subtle changes become clear:

He's totally fucked up.

His head is bandaged. He's got a swollen black eye. The fur of his chest is marred by an elaborate Lichtenberg figure-- like a feather, a duster, a many-branched tree burnt into the skin, and his flesh is mottled with bruises, black and blue and some sickly greens, his body a canvas drowned in unclean rainbow.

He's dressed down tonight. A tight wife beater around his swollen form and sweat pants. He's got an old pair of boots on without socks, and is nursing a drink and an enlarged bag of ice he picked up, resting on his face.
Chase Dalton The howl of an engine cuts through the air, and soon a man appears astride a motorbike. Chase settles into a parking spot, kills the engine, hops off of the bike, and heads into the bar. He slips into a spot at the bar, and orders a round of shots. The bartender peers at him, and inquires for ID. After a death-glare to the bartender, Chase fishes out his state-issued ID, and hands it over. Apparently satisfied, the bartender saunters off to prepare Chase's drink, while the man himself decides to survey the place, see who all's here, and then busies himself with his smartphone.
Emma Life for Emma as of late, has been nothing short of chaotic. It took so long to come around to Racoon, to adjust to what normal is again, only to have it torn down again. For that, the lass had become a shell of sorts, scrambling, clawing to find what there is to hold onto in life. If it weren't for the stubbornness of friends, strangers, and some wise words, perhaps her path would have gone darker. And that is why she is here, for all the loosing of herself that happened, what surfaced was a part she didn't know she needed to revisit. This for her, is her own sense of therapy. Connecting to the world again, trying to shove down that pit of loneliness that seems ever growing within her.

Even with the busy bistro, the lights go down and that seems to signal the beginning of the performance. Out comes a group of people, who head to the stage, followed by Emma. Her red hair is straight this eve, thus all the longer. It falls around her in soft waves. The outfit is a white dress, it falls to mid thigh and sways around her, it's cut and lines showing off the freckles on her body. Also, she wears no shoes, as the Scottish woman prefers to be bare footed. In one hand is a glass of red wine, that is sat on the table beside her chair at the front of the stage, which she sits upon. Big grey-green eyes peer out to all gathered, as one of the background singers announces who they are, etc etc. From there, the group would start playing. Shaemus, of course, by his masters side, laying beside the stage happily eating some ground beef.

Song: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YAw5Jg80b0o
Chris Redfield Chris lowers his newspaper, glancing up at the stage when the band appears. He's more of a rock music type of guy himself, but he does appreciate the soulful sound that Emma is singing about and takes a few moments to watch the stage as her band performs. He isn't familiar with Emma or the band but he does catch a glimpse of a rather mountainous looking man who looks, like he's been through hell and back but should probably be in a critical care hospital ward rather than at a bar from the extend of his injuries. Is that Buck? Since the music is playing, he doesn't want to be rude and walk over to check on the man but he does keep an eye on him in case he keels over. Pity the Ambulance Attendants who would have to respond to get this man on a gurney.

He is about to go back to reading his newspaper, when he spots Isabel who is sitting at a nearby table to him. He gives her a polite nod and a small wave of his hand, if she looks in his direction although she might be distracted by the music or perhaps it is the cute dog on stage that captures her attention.

Redfield's gaze, continues to scan the bar taking note of who's who and thinks he spots another military guy, Chase who is at the bar and was getting ID'ed. He isn't sure if he's met the man or not, but he's got that /look/ that he can spot a mile away.
Isabel The sudden dimness catches Isabel off-guard, and she tenses in her seat. She looks warily around. It's only when the spotlight comes on that she realizes what's going on, sighing in relief and pinching the bridge of her nose. She relaxes back into her chair, her eyes on the stage.
But she's not so distracted that she doesn't see the huge man coming into the bistro, too-casual attire, bruises, and all. Is that Buck? And what happened to him? She lifts her hand, trying to get his attention.
And is still standing, waving, when the music starts. Major foe-paws (faux-pas), as the French definitely wouldn't say. Blushing, she lowers herself into her seat.
Wait... is that /Emma/ doing the signing? In that dress Isabel herself only wishes she could wear (but honestly could, were she brave enough)? So jealous. But that might be Shaemus lying beside the stage, muncing away at something.
Maybe this wasn't a mistake after all.
Though she didn't notice Chris and Chase. Chase is a bit far away, sure, but there's really no excuse for Chris. Bad airhead. Bad.
Buck Rogers Buck's clutch at the ice is iron as the bells of Notre Dame. Every minute shift sees the crushed cubes within grind like rolled marbles, the bag shaping itself to the contours of his battered face. His hulking body, exposed to an almost scandalous degree in his skimpy top, melts in the chair two sizes too small for him, depressing the plush cushion and making the whole thing groan-- a wooden squeaking creaking groan like chattering teeth that he subdues his own personal echo of. The rickety thing squeals whenever his weight shifts.

"Pretty song," he observes, his good eye drifting from Emma to Shaemus and back again. If he were a little drunker, he'd make a crack about two of his favorite bitches, even though Shaemus is a boy. He's not that drink.

Yet.

With his free hand he drains a goblet like a feasting Viking, a desert man's personal oasis-- there's not even time to enjoy the flavor, a rush that turns experience into pure mechanical intoxication. Emptied, he slams his hand down on the table.. and only then grunts as the shockwave of it stirs his bones and agitates his wounds. He slides the ice bag from his face to the arboreal scars and tilts his large head back... giving him an upside-down view of Isabel, a little ways off. His head snaps back up before eye contact is deliberately made and he covers his face again with the ice.
Chase Dalton Chase Dalton tucks his smartphone away, and orders up a plate of hot wings to munch on while he enjoys the music. All in all, a good night for relaxing. The shots arrive before the hot wings, and Chase is half-way through the shots before the wings arrive. He finishes off the shots, and begins digging into the wings, enjoying the spiciness of the wings mixed with the cool ranch dipping sauce. Oh yeah, good times.
Emma Emma seems confident enough in her outfit. Sure, by nature, the lass is shy, but performing, being it what she is doing now which is singing, or dancing, or something along those lines, has always been the outlet for her, a place of comfort. This song slowly fades, for a moment there is a pause, then a second later the next song starts.

Song: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ow58_ocIJL8
Chris Redfield Chris watches Buck with an almost morbid curiousity, the man is so totally wrecked it is a miracle he is even conscious much less able to sit in that tiny looking chair, in that very inappropriate skimpy looking ridiculous outfit and drinking while he's got an icebag on his face. The former Charlie Team leader, is a hell of a lot bigger than he remembers as well but what kind of steroids or human growth hormone could get someone that huge in less than a year? He glances up at the stage as the next song starts, then looks over at Isabel to see if she's noticed him but it looks like she hasnt, as he see's her looking over towards Buck first and then towards the stage.

He notices the military guy is now sitting, eating a plate of hot wings and doing shots. Yup, some things never change and that's the breakfast of champions when someone is on shore leave who thinks they are a hotshot.

Redfield, goes back to relaxing reading his newspaper and enjoying listening to the song as Emma sings.
Isabel Isabel, distracted between the stage and the strongman, still doesn't notice Chris, even if she'd really want to. Seeing that Buck either doesn't see her or is trying to ignore her, she sighs and resignedly pushes back her chair as quietly as possible. She begins weaving her way through the crowded bistro in the direction of the bar.
She's not quiet enough, though she does a creditable job of not disturbing people. There are a few angry murmurs, some of them even in a language she understands, as she slips through the tightly-spaced tables. There are definitely more of them than the last time she was here; they must've brought in some from the back for this performance. "'Scuse me... sorry... pardonnay mwah... Juh excussay..."
She could really learn to hate this language... oh, wait.
She brushes against Chase as she slips past. "'Scuse me..."
And at last, she's at the side of the walking wounded. "Buck... my God, what happened to you?"
Buck Rogers Music soothes the savage beast; so goes the old saying, and it is true in Buck's case, as he lets his eyes drift shut. One elbow propped on the table, spine hunched over, pressing the ice to his face and supporting his head's weight on it, he flirts with sleep as the melodies wash over him-- there's a warmness in the voice, in the tune, that alternates with the ice cold and calms him to a near-slumber. He's content to stay like this, though the smell of wings makes his nostrils flare, and a hungry suck of oxygen sets his stomach to rumbling in anticipation of a meal not coming. It's not a bad way to spend a night. Just play it cool, big guy.

But then comes Isabel. He pretends to be asleep for a long moment; the fake snore gives it away, as does the curling scowl of his face as a small itch on the corner of his mouth becomes increasingly intense, demanding to be scratched; he purses his lips, flexes the muscles in his cheeks, trying to move the skin in such a way that the unbearable sensation fades. He snaps and 'conveniently' wakes up, smacking his lips and itching at his beard. "Hey, sweetheart," he rumbles, half-smiling for a moment. "Just a little tired. Got hit by lightning yesterday. Ate some bad fish after, got food poisoning. Hit my head on some rocks, had a mild concussion. Couldn't sleep because of the stomach pain, so I blew off some steam in a bit of bare-knuckle brawling."
Emma This song slowly fades; it's going to start up into another. Emma, from where she sits, can see all the faces looking up at them. Most eyes are on her anyway, and some faces are familiar, others, not so much. Still it's nice to be up there, doing something she stopped doing so long ago. Maybe it even kick starts her soul a bit, making her feel like herself. During the into bit to the next song, a hand goes for her cup of wine to take a sip. Movements are gentle and smooth, graceful. When the right time comes, she starts to sing into the next song.

Song: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Oi-AxiMyRvI
Chris Redfield Chris glances up, when Isabel walks by and watches as she heads towards Buck's table. Buck doesn't keel over during his conversation with Isabel, so that is a good sign at least and starts picking at his salad. He glances towards the stage once more, as Emma finishes her song and then goes into the next one. He switches from the salad, to his sandwich and even his chewing is deliberate, like a tactical dismantling of it as if it is a military combatant.

He continues to scan the room, old habits die hard and even though he knows it is relatively safe here he rarely lets his guard down. The newspaper is picked up again, he folds it and then starts reading another article in the sports section.
Isabel "Come on, I know you're not asleep," Isabel says, the badly-masked fondness in her tone robbing her momentary severity of impact. She winces in sympathy as she hears the tale. "I'm... not even sure how all that could happen in one night. But I've learned to expect the unexpected from you, Buck."
She pats his shoulder, the uninjured one. "Join me at my table? It might be a little more comfortable. We can go back to my place after, for some proper medical treatment. By the looks of you, you haven't been anywhere near a hospital, and you need one."
Buck Rogers Strip away the mask of ice, and Buck's visage is revealed for the ghastly thing it is-- a mirror of the undead he so gleefully cut through, bruised and battered, one eye swollen near-shut, a welt around his bandages, a wounded jaw. There's marshmallow puff inflating his once-handsome countenance, but really, that just means there's more to love.

"There was a girl at the Eiffel Tower," he comments, "and dinner reservations. She canceled after, but hell, I was hungry." A little chuckle, and one ice cold hand reaches up to pat Isabel.. not on the head, as he so often used to, but on the shoulder, the blunt, thick fingers chilling to the bone. "Already went," he lies, smiling. "I'm alright. Go enjoy your night, sweetheart, tab's on me." The pat turns into a little push to send her off. "'sides, there's someone else who wants to talk to you. You missed hero-man Redfield, he was waving your sweet ass over as you snuck up on me." A tilt of that injured head off vaguely in Chris' direction, and then there's a loud smack as the melting ice bag is thrust back over Buck's face. His pushing hand falls to scratch at his chest, fingers tracing the branching tree-like curls of scarring from the lightning bursting so many capillaries.
Emma In the busy bistro, the lights are dim, and it's a bit busy. Likely because tonight some performing is going on. The night being cold and all, well who wouldn't want to be inside listening to mush. On the stage is Emma. Her red hair is longer, as it's straight, and she's wearing a white dress. Beside the stage is Shaemus, finishing off his bowl of hamburger.

This next song comes to an end, and during this pause, yet again Emma takes a sip of that deep red wine. Sweeping a hand through her hair, it sways around her effortlessly. There is a growing sense of electricity in the air now, with this next song. Maybe it's the way fingers fall on her bare freckled legs, the way her hair is swept around her, or that sweetness that makes this all more alluring. But something now seems to be more drawing..

Song: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6PbgQhF4jww
Chris Redfield Chris finishes off his sandwich, then takes a long gulp from his glass of water and leans back in his chair as he finishes reading another article from his newspaper. Is anybody else reading a newspaper while the stunning red head is singing and the band performs? No. Certainly not, all eyes are on her, the audience is captivated by her soulfull singing. But here he is tucked away in a corner table, finishing off a sandwich and drinking a coffee.

Redfield is listening to the music however, it is helpful in a soothing way, much more so because it is live, the emotion in the melody is raw and real. Things that can't be captured by recorded music and it is the crowd's reaction that really add to the ambieance.

But Chris's mind is on other things, lost to him is this moment where he could have a moments respite, a chance to feel what the crowd must be feeling. He's still got that classic Redfield expression, brooding and stoic.
Evan O'Connor One extra soul walks inside the bistro; a long black coat is left on the nearest hanger, leather gloves are placed inside a pocket of said coat. Evan O'Connor looks around, knowing there's live music. To his surprise, he spots Emma performing on stage, and a soft smile curves on his lips before he makes his way further inside, looking for a place to sit. A polite nod is offered to whomever he walks close to and finally, he takes a seat at an empty table, a small one, one chair. Loner's pick? His attention drifts down to a small menu and he tries to define what he wants to drink, and, if he wants to eat something or not.

He looks up now, first placing his gaze on Emma, smiling once again before offering a wave of his hand. He clicks his tongue and looks around now, raising one hand, index finger extended, trying to call for a waiter's attention. Wine, red; that's what he asks for. And now, he waits.
Isabel "Chris is a nice guy, but he doesn't look like he lost a right-of-way dispute with a battle tank," Isabel says firmly. "You do. Buck, I'm not taking no for an answer, when it's so obvious you haven't and won't go to a hospital. Now come on. We can always say hi to Chris on the way back." She tugs on his arm, gently, not wanting to hurt him, but quite serious in her desire to help.
She really does know him too well.
And when she looks back towards her table, she (finally!) catches sight of Chris in the dim light. He was /that close/ all the time?
Total airhead moment.
Buck Rogers "I don't feel like getting up," Buck says, changing tactics. "I'm comfortable right here; listening to music, nursing a drink. You want to help me, sweetheart?" He chews his lip, raps his knuckles on the scarred wooden surface of his table, rap-rap-tap in time with the beat of the sensual song-- a song that's got Buck one-eyeing the musical redhead in a way reminiscent of his libidinous attitude toward her normally, but more relaxed, aesthetically appreciative. "Guess she's best on the stage," he muses aloud, up-nodding at her to push Isabel's attention elsewhere as she tugs, impotently, at the massive width of his arm. She may as well be trying to budge an elephant.

"You want to help me, go flag down a waitress and get me some wings. Some asshole's been eating them for twenty minutes now, it's all I can smell." He smiles, but the smile is strained, and not because of the wounds. "C'mon. Shoo, Welsh. You're interrupting the music. Take my drink, finish it off, and show him a good time. He's so fuckin' pouty all the time, I'm half expecting Linkin Park to play when he walks."
Emma This song comes to an end with the crowd having eyes on her. This set has come to an end, and the crowd cheers and claps, there are even hoots hollers and whistling - mostly from the men. In response, Emma stands and tucks some hair behind her ear in a shy way that matches her smile as she gives a little bow. With another sweep of her hand through that long red hair, Shaemus goes up to his bare footed master and nudges her leg, and in reponse gets a pet.
Chris Redfield Chris takes a moment to take a break from brooding and glances up towards the stage, clapping his hands together for her in appreciation of her music even but doesn't holler or hoot like the other dudes in the crowd. He finishes off the rest of his salad, pushing his now clear plate off to the side and takes a long sip from his coffee, then sets his newspaper down before standing.

Now that the music is over, the crowd starts to thin out a bit as they head to the bar to order more drinks or go back to their tables to chat with their peeps.

Redfield turns and walks over to Buck's table. He gives the greivously injured mountain man a polite nod, "Buck. I have to be honest. You look terrible and you should go to the hospital. What the hell happened to you?" He says in a matter of factly tone and then gives Isabel a nod as well. "Evening, Isabel. How are you? I hope you are trying to convince him to at least go see a doctor?" He glances between the two of you and then adds, "Do you know who this band was? They are pretty good."
Evan O'Connor When the song is over, Evan claps his hand, smiling. She does have a good voice, there's no denying. He nods at the waiter that brings his glass of wine "Thank you" he offers, before taking a sip from said glass. Now, what to eat, what to eat. He hears some guy asking for chicken wings, do they have those? He quickly checks the menu to see if he missed something and there they are "Hmmm..." Wait, no, there's mozzarella sticks, he does like those. Waiter comes back, he puts in his request, and now he waits.
Isabel "My God, Buck..." Isabel mutters, sighing and giving up on trying to move The Immovable Object. "One of these days you're going to run into something that's even more stubborn than you are. I just hope you can be put back together again after. And that you'll realize you need it and let someone do it."
Something about that strained smile is nagging at her, but she's too frustrated to get it right at the moment. When Buck's being infuriating, she tends to lose sight of details.
Along with that, she missed the end of the song. Darn you and your stubbornness, Buck!
She /almost/ misses the approach of Chris Redfield. Almost. But he does speak up, and she can't miss that. "See? That's a second opinion, right there!" she says to the mass of injuries beside herself. "Will you stop thinking that junk food and booze will get you through?"
She manages a tense smile of her own for Chris. "No idea, I'm afraid. I think the singer is Emma... I don't know what her last name is," she confesses. "And Buck is being Buck, I think. I was trying to get him to at least let me patch him up, but it's not working."
There's a waitress going by. Isabel is too distracted and frustrated to even wave her down until she's almost past. She grimaces and puts in the order, as politely as she can. At least this waitress speaks English!
Buck Rogers Redfield approaches. A shadow passes over Buck's face. As the song ends and the crowd erupts into cheers, standing and bustling, the light plays across his wounded features in curious ways-- it highlights parts, darkens others, and limned in the flickering chiaroscuro he looks inhuman. A snarl, bloodied lip pulled away from a fang, his good eye burning wraith-blue against the black. There's an impression of danger. An instinctive thing that defies words; an awareness of threat that makes some people goosebump-march their hands down their arms and feel the prickling of hair along their neck. He stares up, quiet, strong-jawed, gazing from beneath a heavy, lowered brow.

And then the people standing up around his table sit and move and go back to business, and Buck is illuminated in full once again, and the illusion breaks. The palpable rage is gone with the suddenness of mirage, and he's cracking a smile-- and hey, that fang is just a chipped tooth, doncha know. "I appreciate the concern," he says, and his enunciation is precise. Slow. There's a weight to every word. "I will go and get checked out later. I am not going to die." His eyes, one concealed by bandage and the other bruised, sit on Isabel. "You can take a look when we leave. Okay? Stop worrying about me, Isabel. I've taken worse."

A nod toward Chris, and the big man chuckles. "Eh, had a wild day, Chris. It's Emma-- nurse back in Raccoon City, survivor. She's all doctor-y now or something. She treated me a few days ago when I got stabbed."
Chris Redfield Chris regards Buck with a stoic eye after that shadow passed over Buck's face. He doesn't flinch, or look away as the light and shadow play across his features like an illusion. He knows, that Buck had changed since Raccoon City and didn't realize just how much until now.

He listens and watches as Buck speaks to Isabel, his arms crossed across his chest now as they have their conversation.

Whether or not, he notices the strain or awkwardness between the two is masked by his poker face lack of expression. He merely nods to Buck as his reply to the man.

Chris then turns his attention over to Isabel, "I see. Well, I hope you enjoy the rest of your evening then." He points his thumb towards the exit, "I have to get going. Early morning flight I have to catch." He then glances at the both of you. "Take care. Both of you." The broodiness has returned as he turns to walk back to his table, draining the last of his coffee and then leaves a tip on the table before grabbing his leather jacket from the back of his chair, putting it on as he heads towards the exit. He nods politely to Evan when he passes the man's table and then glances back to the stage, where Emma is now taking a break giving the red head a small salute to acknowledge her performance before he heads out the door.
Isabel "You got hit by /lightning/, Buck..." Isabel points out, sighing exasperatedly. "That you're still alive says something about your will to live. That you haven't been to a hospital..." She swallows the rest of the angry, concerned words. He's going to let her at least /look/ at his injuries.
Which is pretty meaningless, as her medical supplies are back home. But that's something, anyway.
She turns to Chris, just in time for her to wish her a good evening and mention an early flight. Wait, didn't he just walk up? Impulsively, she catches at him as he starts to turn, giving him a quick, strong hug. "Take care... don't miss your plane," she says softly as she lets go.
Don't miss the plane he's leaving to avoid missing. God, she must seem completely desperate.
Buck Rogers "I gotta take a piss," Buck mentions off-hand when Isabel's running off to Chris, pushing back his creaky chair. He dumps the ice pack on the table, slick and half-melted, sloshing and crumpling, and walks off into the crowd. There are people all around him, a suffocating crowd, and the drums behind his eyelids are louder than before. His jaw is clenched hard enough to crack walnuts 'twixt his teeth. A slide past a waitress, a passing under a light, a turn in an alcove near the bathrooms, and then a push through a staff door, and a beeline for a back-door exit.