Umbrella Surveillance System
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Emma It's a lovely night, mother nature has given a gift of her own this eve. Snow. Those soft white flakes float down like little angels. The air ia crisp and cold, yet due to the loveliness of this night, it's hard to care. Magical, would be the best way to describe it.

Within the hall rented out for the cockail party, one can easily place that same word here. The lights are dim, candles glow everywhere, tables are set with festive decor. Unlike outside, within it is warm and cozy. There is an open bar for the night, the staff there wearing festive coloured hats - some santa, some elf, some reindeer. The other staff are dressed in similar outfits, all keeping to the festive feel. A few tables are set up, and from them waft the scent of food! Delicious smelling food (Cookes by James). In the corner but standing out the most is a giant, beautifully decorated christmas tree. Here all the donations are put, sitting under the tree in such a way that it would make anyones inner child giddy - but these are going to the local womans shelter.

As people begin to filter in, Emma is here, in that black dress, her long red hair around her. Even in those black stilettos the lass walks with grace and poise. In one hand is a flute of champagne, the golden colour playing off her wine red painted nails. Moving through the growing number of people, she offers each a shy, yet kind smile.
Esa Having joined the party early on, Esa left for a moment to take up a flute of champagne and commune with a few people before returning to Emma's side. He wore a matching black suit with a white shirt and black tie. "Thank-you for inviting me." Esa said to her, a gently smile on his face. "The party is very beautifully done." He notes softly as he takes in the scene. "And the snow is a nice touch." He adds.
Prestige William Caldwell Arriving very punctual, as is fit for a former member of STARS and a current member of the FBC, is William Caldwell. He arrives and gives a wave to Emma, smiling happily. "Hey Emma. Brought a gift for the womens shelter." he waggles an envelope around and goes to place it under the tree, inside was a hefty sum of money from his last couple of paychecks and a very well made drawing and some words of encouragement. Will was dressed in fairly normal clothing, A nice button-up shirt with some slacks to go with it, along with fancy dress shoes. He even had a tie on! He walks back over to Emma and smiles hopefully "Do you think they'll like my present, Emma?"
James Scott James apparently has been cooking the food, because he's bustling about making last minute adjustments. He smells of wood smoke and is dressed up for the occasion, wearing a black waistcoat with a matching black dress shirt, a skinny red tie, slacks, and shiny leather dress shoes. He'd almost look like a waiter if it wasn't for the pocket watch (single Albert with a demi-drop) and silver bracelet around his left wrist.

The spread features a little bit of everything, both a roasted and fried turkey, cornbread dressing, giblet gravy, and smothered fried chicken. For those looking to make less of a mess there are also homemade chips, spinach dip, cranberry sauce, and small sandwiches. The smallest selection would likely be sweets, banana pudding, red velvet cake, pecan pralines, and squirrel nut zippers.
Trixie Trixie, another former S.T.A.R.S. member and current F.B.C. member, enters the hall from the street, pausing only long enough to hand off her wrapped donation box (containing collected canned goods) to a staff member who comes to take it, and her coat and slingpack (which clashes badly with her outfit) to another, trading smiling pleasantries with both. Her smile still lingering on her lips, she steps deeper into the hall, doing her best not to look around at the Christmas decorations like a tourist; it's hard, as there is so much to see.

After a few moments, she reaches Emma, William, and Esa, pausing to gently hug Emma and even more gently kiss her forehead. "Thank you for your kind invitation, Miss Emma," she says softly, releasing her and turning her smile on Esa and William. "Isn't it beautiful? Sincerity and festivity are such a lovely combination in a party room. And the menu smells /divine/..."
PrestigeAndrei It isn't clear when Andrei actually got into the party. Maybe he slipped in through the line or through the back door. Or maybe a window! Who knows exactly how, but there he is, dressed up in a nice little crisp white dress shirt and slacks.. somewhere inside. He might be making the rounds, offering a meet and greet and just showing his face around.

"Hello. Benjamin Gates. No Relation. You are? Oh, I'm Mr. Gates, No relation." Yup.. just got to be charming and friendly.

Sure he may have brought a few things.. it was real awkward buying femine hygine products.. worse still trying to get in and place them there, but he did his part. The food was less of an issue.
Bob The evening atmosphere seems to suit Bob, yet one more F.B.C. guy, quite well. As he enters the reception hall, dusting snow off of his coat, there's a look of curiosity that quickly fades to make it seem that he's impressed. There's a few moments of studying the room before he takes in Emma and Esa, turning his head and waving their way, "Hey guys." James gets a wave, too, but Bob's first stop seems to be the tree to drop off an envelope.
Vivienne Vivienne walks into the party, her eyes sweeping the room, almost as if she's looking for something in particular. She may have found it, but her expression doesn't change as she moves towards the large tree, several bags and wrapped boxes in her arms. Having deposited the donations she turns, noting the placement of the food, and walks over to Emma, giving her a warm smile. "I know you're probably busy, but I wanted to stop and let you know that this place looks wonderful, and I'm glad you've motivated so many people to come out and give something." She stands around for a few more moments, letting the conversation flow around her before she retreats, moving towards the food, picking up a plate and making something that looks more to-go than for here. She doesn't move to make conversation, and instead backs towards the door a bit, setting her food on the closest table.
Benny Although he's not feeling very well, for various reasons he would rather not discuss on such a festive day he decided to attend this event to support his friend and it was for a very good cause. Benny's face is sporting a black eye, there are some other bumps as well as bruises marking his face and he's walking with a slight limp when he walks in carrying a large cardboard box full of various women's clothes as well as stuffed animals and other toys.

He's wearing his black belstaff waxed cotton jacket, a green graphic t-shirt with a picture of an Ewok wearing a red santa hat, blue designer jeans and white stan smith adidas sneakers. He's always been a bit of an odd duck when it comes to fashion and dressing fancy isn't really his style even at a formal dress type event.

When he see's Emma at the door, he smiles shyly walking up to her and tries to hide his injured face behind that large cardboard box he's carrying. "Merry Christmas, Emma. You look, wow...and uh thanks for the invitation and I brought some things for the shelter, that I had gathered up from work. I'll just go set it down by the tree, you are pretty busy here with greeting folks so I'll catch up with you later." His cheeks blush a bit but the cardboard box saves him, then he gives Esa a polite nod, since he's standing beside Emma before moving off.

Of course his eyes go wide when he see's all the delcious food on tables, behind the red headed hostess and he walks over to the Christmas tree first to set the box down, before walking over towards the food. Of course, the former S.T.A.R.S. spots some of his ex-coworkers in the crowd, so he delays heading to food to say hi to both William and Trixie. "Hi William. Hi Trixie. Merry Christmas." There is no hiding his facial lacerations from them since he's already set the cardboard box down, not to mention that slight limp he's got. He hasn't spotted James yet since he hasn't reached the food table just yet but does not politely to Vivienne when he spots her at a table when he's glancing around.
Buck Rogers Gone is the feral drunkard; gone is the playboy princeling, wasting his wealth on oceans of transient pleasures. When Buck Rogers enters the area, it's the face that plastered American televisions and magazine covers earlier in the year-- home-grown U.S. heroism, though his hair's since grown out some and gotten a calculated tousle, and the thick beard's been tamed to caress the rugged jawline. His makeup's even been done profesionally, with that low-key glow associated with celebrity-- eyes darkened yet popping, skin hale, all signs of age save those that enhance visual esteem gracefully removed. He's got a musk of expensive cologne; the air around him sings with arboreal notes, Italian lemon zest and sprays of mint leaves, clean and subdued.

Every inch of him, head to toe, is cut in such fashion as to cling to him; to broaden the shoulders, to highlight his back, to tighten the ass and draw eyes down the torso to the tease of an Adonis' girdle through the fabrics that cling to him like wet silken drapery. Gathered around his jacket's shoulders, descending down the chest a little ways, is an exaggerated fur collar of stark white, contrasting with the otherwise dark blacks and silvers and golds he wears, a lion's mantle rich and snowy.

This is, without a doubt, an appearance meant to later be publicized; to be photographed, talked about, probably accompanied with the cashing of a check later on. Celebrity charity-- it might be shallow, but it looks damn good, and who doesn't love money?
Emma The flute is lifted, and Emma sips from it, greeting people with a smile as they pass. With a slight turn of her head, Esa is glanced at, he is given a smile. "I - I am glad ya came, an' it is well done, I had a hand in plannin' some of tha dcor, Christmas was always big in my family." For a second there is sadness in the edges of her tone, for missing her family.

Turning smoothly, and effortlessly on those stilettos Will is regard, with a small smirk. "I am sure they will, aye, it was very generous of ya." Spotting James as he works, a wave is tossed his way before Trixie is there, cheeks redden a bit when the kiss is placed to the forehead. "Yer - yer welcome, too, I'm glad yer able ta be here, an' seem ta be enjoyin' it. James cooked, he's good."

Spotting Bob, he gets a wave before nearing. "Nice ta see ya again. Glad yer able ta make it, did ya help James cook?"

Stepping back, turning her head a little to Vivienne, there is another nod, around a sip of her drink and then a warm smile in return. "Aye I did to, an' make sure yer out havin' fun!"

Then, Benny arrives, and it isn't lost on her, the bruises and the limp. The box he brought was taken to the tree by a staff member, but the Scottish lass steps back and raises a finger. "Ex - excuse me.." And so after giving a small tug to Esa's arm, she'd follow him to the food table, go to stand in between it and him and simply give him a look he would know, the look of 'what the hell happened'. On the way there, Buck and Andrei would have been spotted, and given smiles in greeting.
Prestige William Caldwell Spotting his fellow FBC employees and former STARS friends, Caldwell gives a wave to each one accompanied by a smile. He walks up to Buck however and gives the big oaf a great big hug "Hey Buck! How ya doin? Nice to see you here! Did you bring a present?" he lets go after a brief hug and after conversing with Buck a little, goes to the main part of the event. FEWD. He grabs the biggest plate he can find and piles on at least 3 of everything. Caldwell was a growing boy and a growing boy needed NUTRIENTS. Hey, at least he wasn't consuming human flesh like other infected, cause that'd be WEIRD. After piling enough food for at least 4 grown men Bucks size, he goes to sit by Vivienne and waves to her happily "Enjoying the party?" Benny gets a polite bow in particular, gotta have cultural awareness, yo.
James Scott James brushes his hands off and starts to walk off, not before offering Bob and Emma a wave. "Bob and Vivienne helped!" he points out, not wanting to take all the credit himself. With all of the setting up out of the way he goes over to where Vivienne has taken her plate, "Too much of a crowd?"

And then Caldwell shows up, and the younger teen just gets a blank stare, likely because James remembers his Halloween costume.
Esa Esa smiles gently "Me too." He replied to Emma before noting the sadden tone. He adds quietly "Maybe you can call'm later?" He asks before she began speaking to the others. Shifting slightly, Esa smiles to Bob, saying "Hello" and waves to Vivienne before getting tugged to follow Emma. He follows by her side as she led him over to the food table and Benny.
Bob "I gave him a hand, but he did most of it," Bob replies to Emma as he makes his way towards the small group gathering there. When Emma peels off Bob is not deterred because he's heading food's way instead. Vivienne gets a friendly smile before Bob approaches the food. To the people nearby he says, "I'm Bob, the dude that helped with the food. How's it going?"
Trixie "I know how you feel... Mom loved Christmas. Dad loved to indulge her when she went crazy decorating," Trixie says softly to Emma, giving her shoulder a gentle squeeze with one hand. "So I guess we're celebrating for folks like them." As Esa and William leave with Emma, she gives them a little fingertip wave, then turns to Benny, trying not to stare as he moves away.

And then she sees Buck, and stares some more, too startled not to. Only after a moment to recover her wits does she approach him. "I wasn't sure I'd ever see you again, Mr. Rogers," she says, by way of greeting. "Merry Christmas?"
Benny "Hi, Em. Uh...oh, I don't think we've met. I'm Benny." Benny blinks when Emma gives him that /look/ and addresses Esa, extending his hand towards him in a greeting handshake. He spots Buck, who is't very hard to miss when he enters the room, looking over and up at the man mountain, giving his former team commander a friendly wave but doesn't want to yell out at the celebrity from across the room. He's sure they will get a chance to chat later since William has already intercepted him.

"Hi, Bob. I'm Benny." he gives Bod a polite nod when he introduces himself at the food table to folks. Again, he misses James because he's left the food table to walk towards Vivienne's table. Nope, nothing to see here, he's perfectly fine and it isn't completely unusual to see him all banged up considering he used to a police officer. Although, IT guys don't usually get into much physical confrontations unless tech support has a whole new meaning?
Vivienne Vivienne sits near the exit, her eyes on the tree and the things underneath. She's a bit overwhelmed by the generosity that everyone seems to have shown, and her wide-eyed stare might show that. She's spent some time in some shelters and she hasn't seen anything like this in the small town refuges that she's had to hole up in. She glances down at her dress, and at all of the glitter, snow and champagne and decides this isn't really her. She might have reaped the result of charity in the past, and she's happy to have given back, but she can't quite get into the spirit of the party. She picks up the plate she's made for a friend ,waves goodbye to William, and leans in to whisper something to James. Another moment passes and she gets to her feet, takes her coat and slips out quietly.
PrestigeAndrei With Andrei's donation left in the room, he'll take a second or two to watch everyone inside, his arms coming behind his back. A few inviduals will get a look over, some more familiar then others but soon his head will tilt to the side. There is just so much going on and Andrei is content to just take a back seat to everything.
Emma Eyes don't leave Benny, Emma is awaiting an answer, because she is worried for her friend, but none comes, and there is no pressing. When the introduction is made to Esa, she too turns to him. "This was - was my friend, I was tellin' ya 'bout Esa, who worked with computers an' stuff. Benny, this is Esa, he works with computers too. Figured ya two may get along, just don't play him at a game of Mario, it's a lil' borin' ta always win." She smirks, and sips her drink.

She glances over to Trixie, who is talking to Buck, and the pair are watched a second. Last she saw Buck, he was pretty darn hurt. Andrei is also seen, and he is given a small wave, perhaps idly wondering which persona he may be today

"Ya helped James cook, Bob? Another man that can cook? Co - colour me surprised, now I need ta try tha food." That being said, her drink is finished, it's open bar after all, people drink as much as you want! She turns to grab a plate, looking over the food as if trying to figure out what to eat first.
James Scott "Oh, alright." James sighs quietly, reaching up to rub at the back of his neck, giving Vivienne a kiss before she slips out the back door. "Another party without my girlfriend." He was actually looking forward to the event, but now he just takes the recently vacated seat next to William.
Esa Esa shook Benny's hand firmly as the introductions are done; adding for effect "Yes, Esa Collins; IT guru and last place at Mario when playing with Emma." He notes with a small grin toward Emma. "Though I did let her win." He teases to her. Glancing back to Benny, he asked "What type of IT?"
Buck Rogers When William's arms unexpectedly wrap around him, there's a moment of tenseness in the polished brute's massive form-- but the tension's cut lickety-split when he forces a smile with easy seeming, giving him a clap on the shoulder. "Caldwell," he greets with a rumble, squeezing the young man with enough strength to subtly dig in and separate him from the hug. "Good. I heard of what was going on, and wanted to make a stop. Contribute to a good cause while I'm still in gay Paris," and it's said with that affected long e sound, "before I fly out. I'll be making a donation later." When they're detached, Buck brushes himself, a string of Caldwell's hair pushed out of the snowy fur around him, and as the boy goes to feed the beast, Buck snatches Trixie's hand with a grace so casual it must be rehearsed, bending and laying a kiss on the back of her hand, thumb brushing her wrist. "Merry Christmas, beautiful," he says and releases her, lifting his arms to encompass the area. "It looks good, doesn't it?"
Bob "Nice to meet you, Benny," Bob says with a friendly smile, returning the nod with one of his own. As he scoops food onto a plate he looks over the table at James and says with an amused tone in his voice, "This stuff is bangin', man. You know I'm probably going to steal your recipes, right?" He looks over at Emma and gives her a nod, "Yeah. I figured that since I like to eat I better learn how to fend for myself."
Chase Dalton If one must be late to a party, one should be /fashionably/ late. Thus does Chase arrive, riding shotgun in the lead jeep of a five-long convoy, packed with half a dozen of his old friends from the service. Each is 'strapped' with a mix of diapers, clothes of varying styles, and toiletries. No on-mission gear, since they're not on duty, but.. they'd be easy to spot from how they present themselves; and there's the Santa hats, of course, given the occasion. FBC folks would, of course, also recognize Chase. Chase ding-dongs and knocks on the front door, waits for an invite inside, and leads the way in when cued. "Merry Christmas to all," he says with a smile and nod to those gathered. The donations/gifts are set in their place, and Chase's companions disperse for appropriate mingling.
Prestige William Caldwell Caldwell waves goodbye to Vivienne and looks over at James, smiling "Hiya!" and beginning to dig into his gigantic plate of food. He quickly scarfs down about 4 buttered rolls along with a nice couple big bites of steak and various veggies. Letting out a few quick hiccups of satisfaction he goes about his monstrous eating spree some more. Watching the party unfold around him. He wasn't much of a party guy, but he did like the most important part of parties. THE FOOD. He takes a big gulp of enough soda to give a man diabeetus and looks back at James "Sorry your girlfriend left, was it something I said?" he asks curiously, tilting his head to the side as if trying to read James's thoughts. Though he's sure he's done something wrong! What other reason would Vivienne have for dipping like that?
Benny "Oh, you work in computers too eh?" Benny replies to Emma, his cheeks flushing again as he ignores her earlier questioning look but he doesn't want to be a downer during Christmas time. Besides, it's just a flesh wound and nothing to be too concerned about. He's had worse, that is for sure and if his lung ain't punctured, then life is pretty darn good. "Yup, Emma and I know each other from back in Colorado. I wouldn't have missed this party for the world...well maybe for a mint condition Spider-Man number one but I'm here so that is what counts." He gives Emma a little wink with a wry smirk on his fact at his lame nerdy comic book joke.

"I work mostly in tech support, trouble shooting problems that people have and answering the phones to reset people's passwords. How about yourself?" He asks Esa and then like a ninja, takes a step towards the food table, nimbly swiping a plate, then starts piling random bits of food on that would make quite the mosiac artform. Grabbing a fork, he quickly returns to the two and starts nibbling away, satiating that ravenous hunger of his even though he probably weighs only a buck 40 or so.
Trixie "Very," Trixie agrees softly with Buck, blushing at the courtly greeting. "Given the manner of our last parting, it's really good to see you." She looks toward the table shared by Emma, James, Esa, and a few more people she thinks she's seen before, arcing a cinnamon-colored eyebrow as she sees the meal William has claimed. "I'd swear he hadn't eaten in a month. Must be an amazing spread. Sure /smells/ amazing," she observes softly. Gesturing toward the group, she adds, "Shall we join them?"

And then suddenly the door is opened and a large party in Santa hats enters, bearing gifts. "Someone sure knows how to make a donation. So stylish, in such a not-stylish way," she muses, smiling and trying not to giggle. Giggles just feel out of place in a gathering like this.
James Scott "Nah, just too many people for her liking." James says quietly. After a moment he pushes to his feet and wanders over to where the other people are and to look at the food. He'd planned on waiting to eat here, but he suddenly wasn't hungry. Buck and the donation train are ignored for the moment, rather he's trying to focus on positive things.
Emma "Well, good ta know I'll be tryin' some of yer cookin'!" Emma says to Bob, going to put a few small pieces of food on her plate, wanting to try almost everything. Done with that, she turns to face the others, but not yet digging into her food. She looks to Esa a moment, and then to Benny, again with that look that says she isn't falling for it, but there is nothing else other then a smirk and roll of her eyes. "Yer - yer impossible, ya'know? Tomorrow, yer in tha hospital." Her tone brooks no argument.

Then a group of men enter in Santa hats, and spotting one familiar one she shakes her head and sighs a little. "Ex - excuse me." Says the lass to the two men, leaving them to talk shop. Spotting James seeming a little down, a quick one armed hug is given before she is walking towards Chase. "Glad ta - ta see ya here, Chase, ya brough an army with ya it seems. And plenty of gifts, how wonderfull!"
Esa Esa smiles "Ah, the wonderful field of tech support." He replied with a calm chuckle. "I do data-mining and other .. slightly nefarious? It technical stuff for a government program. On the side, I assist an IT security firm in making sure major corporations are using up-to-date firewalls." He watches Benny grab some food and does the same before looking to Emma with a fond smile as she bounds off to deal with Santa and decides to eat some of the food he put on his plate.
PrestigeAndrei As ANdrei hasn't really engaged with anyone except a few of the odd women about the party, he'll move to shake a few moer hands before stepping out. He had shown his face and was pleased that he had done some good. Helps with the consious after killing a couple of folks after all.

Thank god for galas to help the needy.
Bob Now that he's gotten some food, Bob grabs a bite, chewing and swallowing before replying to Emma, "I just followed James' lead this time, but I'll cook for you some time." Then it's back to downing some more grub. As he settles down to eat he watches the room, smiling at the guys bringing in presents, he looks around to find himself a seat, eyes settling on the empty chair James had previously occupied. He approaches it and says to William, "Mind if I join you?"
Buck Rogers "Didn't expect to see you here," Buck confesses, eyes lingering on Trixie and sliding down her with the weight of hands. "And I didn't expect to be in Paris much longer. But since I am-- well, who could resist a party like this, and for such a good cause?" At some point, his gaze returned to her eyes, where the contact is maintained with that classic, overbearing forwardness; you can pretty the bear up, but there's still parts of him that are unrestrained, and the predatory way his eyes track other people's is one of them. "Yeah, Caldwell's got a stomach on him," Buck agrees, taking Trixie's arm and escorting her toward the group like a proper gentleman. He's uncharacteristically light on his feet, lacking his typical lumber-- slower, more methodical, as though mentally running through a checklist of steps in order to Walk Like A Graceful Person. It has the positive effect of preventing his well-meaning escort from becoming a wild, arm-swinging launching of the diminutive lass through the crowds that part around him like a mass of flies.
Prestige William Caldwell Caldwell nods at James "I completely understand." then it's back to GRUBBIN. He smiles at Trixie stix and THE BIG EM (A.K.A Emma) Offering them a place at the now vacant table besides him and goes back to munching on some chicken tendies. He plops on a newly acquired santa hat and plays with the white ball on the end of the hat. Bat, bat, bat. He continues vacuuming up food at the same time as playing with the ball. Luckily he brought some drawing paper and some pencils and begins to sketch some various scenes around him, only this time no crayons!
Benny Benny nods to Esa as he polishes off half the plate of food while listening to the short conversation. He blinks when Emma tells him he is impossible and then orders him to go to the hospital tomorrow. Sighing in between bites, his shoulders droop a little in defeat and when he's finished chewing he replies to the man. "Cool beans. Cyber security is the next big thing." He watches when Chase walks in with all the FBC folks, carrying tons of gifts to donate to the Shelter and then glances over towards where Buck and Trixie are conversing, then his eyes slide over to the table where William is with that giant plate of food, giving his former S.T.A.R.S. team mate a slow return bow when he looks in his direction, but he's wincing in pain as he does it. James gets a wave and a soft smile in greeting as well since he's seated beside William. When Emma leaves he follows after all, excusing himself from Esa to greet some of his other colleagues.
Trixie "I wasn't sure I was going to /be/ here, honestly... got lucky enough not to draw quarantine zone duty for the night. Made arrangements to get my donation here, even if I couldn't bring it personally." Trixie feels herself blushing under that heavy gaze, but she manages not to break eye contact. "I haven't been to a party since before the outbreak in Raccoon City... I've almost forgotten how. But it's good to do something that doesn't involve shooting at groaners, or other people."

She lets Buck take her arm and moves with him through the crowd, indicating the table with William and his plate of food as the first place to pause to chat. "Someone brought their appetite," she teases gently, smiling at her teammate and nodding to Bob. "Mind if we join you all?"
James Scott James sighs quietly, looking around at all the different faces. "Yeah, I need to smoke." he decides quietly. There wasn't a real reason to come here anyway. He cuts through the crowd, making his way towards the side door. He'd come back later to clean up, but for now the people just seemed oppressive to the point it was starting to feel like he couldn't breathe.

It was a far cry from college James who thrived on these situations.
Emma Emma would have nodded to Bob, about the cooking bit - to note that, and when she had gone off to speak to Chase it seems he was pulled away before her steps brought her to him. Ah well. Taking a bite of her food the familiar voice of someone draws her attention, for a second the lass disappears and when she comes back into view, it's none other than Shaemus who is at her side! He is nicely groomed, and is wearing an elf hat! It's beyond cute and he seems to be so happy and proud of how he looks.

His master fallows along side, walking in those heels, gracefully and easily, that long red hair swaying around her. Upon her head, she is wearing a santa hat! If flops to the side a little, and is absolute adorable, and works well with that sultry black dress. Still holding her plate in one hand, in the other is a glass of scotch, because, open bar, why not.
Prestige William Caldwell Caldwell smiles at Trixie Stix "I did! I also brought my drawing book, currently doing a big sketch of the tree. It's coming out...okay-ish, I think?" he offers the picture to Trixie and it's..not bad? But not good either, a mediocre drawing at best by an artist who only has vague knowledge of what he's doing. He takes his sketch back after a moment and goes back to drawing, stuffing in his mouth a gigantic forkful of turkey meat and gravy. Chew chewing before swallowing the turkey goodness.
Bob "Have a seat," Bob says with a smile to the folks approaching the table he's at, making a welcoming gesture with a wave of his arm that somehow ends with him holding a santa hat. He sticks it on his head without any to-do, nodding in the direction the hat came from. "Merry Christmas. I'm Bob," Is his way of introducing himself to the new arrivals to the table.
Esa Esa finishes up the plate of food quietly, eyes on the crowd. It was when Shaemus arrived, hear by his foot paws over the crowd, does Esa shift to see Emma and the newfoundler dog come into view. He grins at the elf hat on him before seeing the santa hat on her and chuckles. He turns again to the crowd, taking it in with comfort; enjoying the moment.
Buck Rogers "I never did enjoy shooting, myself," Buck says with a smile. "It's my hands, you see?" He lifts one hand and stretches it out. The fingers are squat, thick, pugilist's hands-- thick-knuckled and scarred, such that when they ball into fists they're tight and rough as concrete blocks. "Fat fingers. Getting me in something delicate's like asking grandma to chop wood." The girl's returning of his unending eye contact amuses him; the vast majority of people break after just a few seconds, finding another person's gaze uncomfortable-- especially when that 'another person' is Buck Rogers. That sort of spirit warrants a proper award.. so when they reach the table, spirited through the crowd with ambling grace, he pulls her chair out and seats her, tucking her in after. And claps his hands. "Pleasure to see you all," he declares, broadly and generically greeting the assembly as a whole. "The hostess is looking lovely tonight, isn't she?" He finds himself a seat, painfully too small for him, and eases into it like a hundred pounds of steel and rock in a ten pound bag.

"Always liked that dog."
Benny Benny spots Shaemus in the crowd by Emma and gives his favorite dog a good head patting as well as rubbing behind the ears. "Hey boy, Merry Christmas. That's a good boy!" Balancing the plate of food in one hand with graceful agility, while petting Shaemus is quite the feat and even injured he's able to do it with ease. Kungfu does have other benefits other than just self defence after all. He is now at the table where James just departed, but where Wiliam, Trixie, Bob and Buck are now sitting. "Hi everyone. Merry Christmas once again. You mind if I join you here?" He has half a plate of food still left and has a big grin for Buck, when he see's the man with Trixie in tow. "Hey Buck! Glad to see ya. Long time and how have you been doing? Looks like the celebrity thing is treating you well." As he admires the fancy threads the mountain man is wearing but then blinks. "Hey, have you been working out? You look a lot bigger than last time I saw you and you were already pretty damn big." Yup, Buck dwarfed the Asian back in the S.T.A.R.S. days but now it is ridonkulous how massive he is in comparison with him. "Hey, Trixie. Haven't seen you in ia while either?" He glances between Buck and her, "Oh are you two...going out now?"
Poncho      At the back of the group of hat-wearing cargo men, one fellow limps into the party in a tattered grey jacket and ragged jeans, head bowed forward as the puffy ball of his faded red Santa hat sways above his right shoulder. For a gift-bearer he is oddly grim, lacking the jolly cheer and clean-cut handsome features of the other men. In fact, beneath his brown and grey beard, his face is sunken and unhealthy, eyes pools of soulless grey many times colder than the snow outside.
     Carrying a heavy rucksack stuffed with cans and toiletries over to the tree, he stoops down and stows it carefully beneath, its contents rattling quietly. That done, he straightens, one scarred old hand tugging his jacket closed as he sweeps his dead eyes over the gathering. The warmth of the party does not reach him. He parts it like a stone monolith jutting from the sea, causing the cheer and good humor to rush past him on either side. The result leaves him rather grey and lifeless.
     Locking his hard gaze on Emma, Mr. Martin limps forward through the crowd, stepping around bustling staff and attendees as he approaches the pretty redhead from behind. His pace is slow but determined, eyes boring a figurative hole in the back of the woman's skull.
James Scott James decides he's going to say something to Emma before he leaves, so that's the direction he heads in. At least until he catches sight of Poncho, his nostril curls as he takes the old man in. It's not every day you come across the ghost from the security briefings.

Regardless he resumes his steps forward and flashes the redhead an apologetic smile, "Hey Emma. Looks like I'm gonna have to head out."

He then looks past her to Poncho, "What's the matter with you, look like somebody killed your hope then burned your house down."
Emma Shaemus is the happiest elf-dog in town, in Paris, in the world! His tail wags with pride, he greets everyone with a doggy like smile, there are so many people. He is running about, going to sniff and greet people. He happily woofs at Benny, at the attention, and then goes to greet Esa, remembering him from earlier, and then goes to greet Buck, too. That's the only man big enough to hug him like a human.

Emma, on her way back to the table, grins at everyone, a hand sweeping some of those long, red, silken locks over her shoulder. "Thank god for open bars." There is a sip of her scotch, her plate - with some food on it, is put down between Esa and Benny, they can fight over it, if they wanted. "How was - was talkin' shop?"

"Oh, James -" But whatever she was about to say, is halted, because for some reason a shiver runs down her spine, a noticeable one. That dress, it's lines, the way it shows off some skin, also shows off her goosebumps. Slowly, she turns, and would look to Poncho as he barrels down upon her.
Trixie "Definitely. You'd want something with a really large grip and trigger guard, for fingers like that. Definitely no Detective Specials for you," Trixie agrees, nodding to Buck assessment of his shooting issues, then blinking in surprise as he seats her, as if they were characters in a Bogart film. Only Buck would dwarf Bogie, and she's not in Lauren Bacall's league. "Wow, thank you. That was so gentlemanly."

She smiles wryly at Benny's question, trying not to wince at the sight of his injuries up close. "Definitely not dating. We just have a strange way of running into one another in interesting places." She glances up just in time to witness Emma returning, Shaemus at her side and looking like the most glamorously adorable thing in the room. "Hey, where'd the Newfie come from?" she asks, forgetting herself and giggling, then giggling more as one of the staff plops a Santa hat onto her head from behind. Surpriiiiiiiiiiise Santa!

Glancing back at Emma, her gaze is suddenly arrested by the man approaching the young hostess from behind. If it weren't for the vivid contrast of the ragged, lifeless-seeming man and literally the entire rest of the room and its bright, glittering festiveness, she might never have seen him. James is noted as he approaches Emma, though not immediately recognized, and inwardly she is glad he is near her. She tenses, ready to rise from her chair if the man suggests he is a true threat to Emma...
Esa Esa turns slightly to pet shaemus before the dog bounds off for the next person. He listens and mingles with the crowd a little before he sees Poncho approaching Emma; a frown creasing his lips. Taking another flute of champagne, he makes his way quietly over toward her, James and Poncho casually.
Poncho      Mr. Martin's harsh features turn down only slightly as he pauses not 4 feet behind Emma, his cold eyes drawn away toward James as the young man speaks. For a moment the old detective simply stands there, unblinking. Maybe he is a ghost. he could have kicked the shit out of the ghost of Christmas future and stolen his job. he has that vibe about him. If that's the case, the way he is looking at James suggests the young man's future might be particularly unpleasant.
     "Huh." The old man rasps softly, words just barely cutting through the noise of those who haven't stopped partying to stare at him, "Looks like some punk ass kid is runnin' his mouth, tryin' to be cute. Why don't you run along and play with trucks? Ain't that what boys yer age do?" Turning away from James, the mean old bastard proceeds to forget he ever existed, returning his full attention to Emma, whom has turned to face him by this point.
     "Soon, me and you are gonna have to talk." Limping forward, Mr. Martin attempts to move into polite party conversation with Emma, though his posture and tone is anything but, "What you doin' after this mess?"
Buck Rogers "Mind your fingers, princess," Buck murmurs as he eases Trixie's chair in, the seat brushing near one of the table's legs where her arm and hand rest. When he's seated and stuffed into the too-small seat, his fingers take a white-knuckled clench on the side and his arms flex, torso lengthening upwards-- then he exhales, and wiggles, and slimming himself with a speed a teenage girl would envy, manages to be somewhat comfortable. It's at this point that Benny brings himself over, and with a flash of teeth and a rush of subtle cologne in the air, he stands right back up to greet the man properly. One hand goes for the shake, the other clasps his shoulder, and the pump is firm. It's all practiced enough to be natural-- he doesn't even crush his former subordinate's hand. "Benjamin," he booms. "It's a living. Came to film some commercials, and opted to take a break while here-- drink in the sights of this beautiful city, and all its beautiful people." A look at Trixie, first, obvious and slow enough for everyone to deliberately catch, and then Emma. "But can't keep me out of the gym. The suits and shoes are nice, but I'm still comfiest in a pair of sweats under iron." At the dating question, he laughs. "Ah, she's too delicate for a guy like me," he teases. "But I've got some plans to toughen her up."

An empty lie, and then there is Shaemus, and Buck does what he always does when he sees that big ol' dog-- squats down, wraps his arms around him, and lifts him right into the air as easily as one might a child, carrying him bridal style. "Who's a good dog?" He asks, blowing ripples through the belly fur. "Cute lil guy."
James Scott "Not so much cute. But it's a lot better than an old bastard who can't stay dead." James' fists clench. "We don't forget James, and we don't forgive. But keep that chin up, you'll get to see your little girl soon." He turns and walks back towards the door. He stops and looks back at Emma, "Don't go anywhere with him, dumb fucker's trouble." He turns around and continues on out the door. What a shitty night.
Emma The tension can be felt, Emma is still, until James breaks her train of thought. He gets a frown. "Ja -" No way to stop him, she knows this. There is a sigh, and people are staring.

As Poncho a fairly solid distraction from everyone, moving forward a foot, gracefully in those heels, her head tilts, grey-green eyes study the old man with a calmness. "Nothing." Is her reply, guessing that something is going on. "Wh - what's wrong?"
Benny "Oh, sorry Trixie. Didn't mean anything by it." Insert foot into mouth, Benny way to go you tactless wonder. His cheeks flush with embarassment but then Trixie is paying attention to Shaemus and Buck's massive hand engulfs his, with that pat on the shoulder which staggers him just a slight tad but he's able to stay on his feet since Buck was fairly gentle with his superhuman strength. "Oh, well glad to see ya Sarge. I guess you and I both decided to try out a different career path. Well, how long are you in town for? We should get together for lunch or coffee at least." He then glances between Trixie and Emma when Buck looks over at the two stunning ladies. But then there goes Buck paying attention to Shaemus now and he's left alone once more. When James walks in he gives the man a wave, "Hey James. How are things? Merry Christmas. Oh are you alright?" But then Poncho arrives and they kinda have this negative sort of vibe going on, so he stays near the group just in case things start getting hairy. "Hey, you guys...come on it's Christmas and lets just be cool okay?" As he watches James walk out the door, a rather familiar sight in the old days. He sighs.
Esa Esa takes a quick drink from the flute as he comes to a halt next to Emma. "Is.. everything, okay Emma?" He asks calmly, eyes moving from her to Poncho before he takes another drink from the Flute. He watches James exit with a curious yet confused look; unsure what happened.
Bob The weird older guy and James' reaction to him have Bob's attention. Watching the two of them closely to see if he might need to jump in, he manages to relax when the situation defuses itself. He looks at the people around him, frowning deeply while he gets his thoughts together. Then he makes a plan and stands up, "I'm heading to the bar. Anyone want anything while I'm there?"
Prestige William Caldwell Caldwell finishes his massive plate of food. Wiping off the remains from his mouth with a wad of napkin. He reaches out to pet Shaemus and gives him a brief patpat "Good doggy." he says, smiling. He finishes his drawing of the big tree in the room and shows it off to everyone, woo, he did a thing! "All it's missing is some color. But I can do that in a there any dessert here? I could go for some ice cream or some cake, or some ice cream" he pats his stomach, the kid had eaten enough for 5 grown men and was still hungry.
Trixie Trixie can't help a hint of a smile as she hears and sees Buck playing with the massive Newfie as if he were a puppy, but the tension doesn't leave her body, and her eyes remain focused on Emma and the incredibly rude, vagrant-looking man, ready to stand and assist if need be. "Trying, Benny... but it looks like at least one of the un-party people has a different idea," she says softly to her former teammate. "I don't think he'll be real trouble, but would you back me up if things turn ugly?" she asks, just as softly.
Poncho      The impact of James' parting words has a visible effect on Mr. Martin. His face locks into a stony mask, while his left hand clinches so tightly at his side that his hairy grey knuckles audibly crack. His right hand twitches only briefly toward his open jacket, right cheek fluttering rapidly.
     When his grey eyes lift to meet Emma's, she can see nothing but raw, sub-zero murder within them. it is honestly surprising that his gun isn't already in his hand. But, he allows James to leave unmolested. Or, in this case, without trying to explode him.
     "That little ass wipe thought it'd be all kinds of fun," Poncho rasps to Emma, his voice soft but not so soft that those attempting to listen can't hear, "To tell me that he knows Umbrella killed my daughter, and that he was gonna do the same to me. ya know, party talk."
     Relaxing his fist, the ragged old man forces his eyes to blink once, face remaining void of any real expression. He is clearly a hard man, but even hard men have limits.
     Taking a moment to tilt his face away from Emma, he scans the rest of the room, noting those who have tensed up, those who are playing with dogs, and those who haven't seemed to notice anything at all. His voice lowers as he limps another step forward, reaching up to place his right hand on the redhead's nearly bare shoulder, rasping out words meant only for her.
     "You hinted at things ya know 'bout Umbrella twice now. things what might be able to help. We need to talk 'bout that. Soon."
Emma Emma catches exactly what impact James' words had. And just how low that blow was. There is no more smile, no more festive cheer in her. There is just a sense of sadness, of compassion. As Esa approached he would only get a brief look and nod, but her attention is on Poncho.

Unwavering under his approach the red head stands there, she doesn't even flinch at his touch, her skin would be soft and warm under it. The free hand - the one not holding the scotch, comes up to touch his arm, in a supportive gesture.

Leaning in a little to hear what he has to say, her face pales, those freckles highlighted all the more. Lifting her head to look up at him, there is just a small nod, tied with the unsettling fear that grips her at the mention of Umbrella.
Esa Esa takes in everything quietly. With his proximity to Emma and Poncho, he hears what he has to say. He takes another sip of the flute, eyes shifting back to Emma. He sees the paleness, the fear and his eyes flick back to Poncho. He replies quietly so the two can hear "Not to say that I do trust our newcomer; but if you do happen to go talk with him tonight, I would like to join you." He says with more concern of her safety; eyes back on Emma.
Prestige William Caldwell Caldwells expression goes from all smiles to a complete frown 180 "Well then...would you like at the time..I have..laundry to water, ANYWAY. BYE." and with that he slowly rises up and ZIPS his way out of there, nobodies gonna ruin his Christmas! NOBODY!
Poncho      The contrast between Emma and Mr. Martin could not be greater. Standing close as they are, it is difficult not to notice just how stark their differences. She is pale but vital, full of color and emotion and softness. Warm and maternal in attitude. But he has none of those features. His hair, eyes, and skin are all fading to grey, scarred and rough. He is elemental, a figure carved of wood.
     Though it seems Mr. Martin is about to relax, to take Emma's response and go, Esa's words cause the hand on her shoulder to clamp down sharply. Work-hardened fingers dig into her soft skin, cold and implacable as the eyes he directs toward the suited intruder.
     "Sad fact for you, friend, is that you didn't get a god damn invitation. So in the words of the French," Martin releases Emma, red marks in the shape of his hand beginning to show where he had squeezed her, "Go fuck yourself." And with that cheery Christmas greeting delivered in a hoarse, absolutely warmth-free murmur, the old fellow begins to turn away. He has no other business here, and if nothing else, he does realize how he effects people.
Benny "Don't worry Trixie, I've got your back and always will, no matter where each of us may be working." Benny says to his former S.T.A.R.S. team-mate and friend, as he watches carefully the interactions between James and Mr. Martin. This is starting to be like a scene out of a movie, where that guy confronts that other guy at a Christmas Party, then there is this big shoot out. Oh wait, wrong movie and he's getting confused with all that sci-fi, crime drama that he's watched over the years. Mixes a guy up after a while. The tension seems to fade a little, when James left but he still didn't know what his intentions were with Emma and he's standing close enough to her that if something were to happen his cat-like Kungfu reflexes would be able to hopefully do something about it.

He blinks, when Poncho goes all Dirty Harry, bad ass Mad Max cussing to Emma's face and then turns away, he almost takes a running leap at a flying jump kick to the back of the old guy's skull but he's better than that, not going to cause a scene right now in front of everybody in the spirit of giving at a Charity event. He steps in front of Emma protectively, shielding her from harm if the guy goes postal and tries anything on a whim. "Let him go and who's hungry? The food is amazing and I should have been on my third's by now." He is talking but he's still watching Mr Martin, his hands are calmly by his side but he's in a slightly bladed stance watching Poncho's hands as he walks away.
Emma There is a contrast, yes, but it shifts for a second, though Emma tries to hide it, when her shoulder is gripped there is the slighest flinch, the lass is trying not to show the pain. Trying.

Blinking a few times, catching her breath the response to Esa gathers a frown. "Do - don't worry." She says to him, still a bit pale and goes to look at the old man, a red mark against the soft pale yet freckled skin on her shoulder. It stands out. A second later Benny is there, like the great wall of China, a barrier. Slowly she relaxes, but her spirit gone some. She goes to touch his arm, in that move telling him to stand down. "I -- I'm not hungry." Comments the red head, tone no more than a whisper. "I... need ta go work on some things, you - you all have fun. I'll try ta be back after." Gracefully, she steps back, giving an apologetic smile to the group, before she turns to fade off into the crowd for a little bit.
Esa Esa frowns a little at Poncho's remark, eyes shifting to Emma as he slowly nods. As she wonders off, he sighs and turns toward the exit; dumping the plate in the trash. Glancing to Benny, he nods "I think I shall take my leave." He says with a somewhat warmth overtone; though his face betrays differently. With that, he takes his leave.
Trixie "Thank you, Benny," Trixie whispers, nodding the faintest of nods at her former coworker without taking her eyes off of Emma and the unsettling old man. By now it almost feels like the whole room is focused on the mismatched pair, as if the entire party were holding its breath. For better or for worse, any little stone thrown into the pool of humanity would trigger a splash, possibly all out of proportion to the disturbance.

And then suddenly the stone is thrown, in the form of Esa's intercession, and the splash is ugly, but mercifully small. Trixie nearly faints of relief as she watches the horrid old man leave, the tension gone from her at last. Still, her heart goes out to Emma, and she watches the girl step away, swiftly followed by Esa, with concern writ large upon her features. "I think the Grinch has competition," she says at last.
Buck Rogers Buck, for his part, ignored the entire affair. He has transcended the petty concerns of mortals, of lost daughters, ancient grudges, and pissing contests between testosterone-fueled men-- he has a dog, and it is fluffy.
Benny Benny nods at Trixie, giving her a soft smile and gives her a thumbs up. Seeing as the mood has changed after people are leaving, he shrugs and then goes back to the table to finish off the rest of his plate, then goes back to the food table to get seconds, then thirds, fourths and then dessert. Yup, he ain't going to let all this amazing food go to waste. It is amazing and uncanny how much this guy can eat, where the heck does he put all that food anyways!? His metabolism must be insane, if they had created a virus out of his appetite, it would have eaten the world probably. Thankfully he's never been experimented on. Merry Christmas to that! "This is damn fine, pie...ugh please not the wafer thin mint." He's happy and full.