Umbrella Surveillance System
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Eve The day is early and there is a fog covering most of Paris. It's not cold exactly but a chill is in the air, enough that most people are wearing jackets of some kind. A hint of sun is starting to show through the fog, promising that it will lift at some point in the morning. Outside of the offices the city seems to be coming to life, the sound of jocular conversation and chatter carries to the patio area. Several black suited men stand vigilant, eyes on exit points.

Eve sits on a plush black chair, near one of the heaters scattered around the patio, her laptop open on her lap. She is quietly checking her mail and sipping from a bowl-like coffee cup, her face fresh. She is wearing a pair of baggy sweatpants and a soft white t-shirt, with her hair pulled up in a messy bun. A pair of black-rimmed glasses are perched on her nose. An uneasy look spreads across her features as she taps at her laptop, and she picks up her cup to take another slow sip.
Isabel From the back of the office level, Isabel Welsh comes walking out to look around. Moving in took a lot of time yesterday, from the hurried packing in her shabby apartment to the breathless rush across Paris to the actual arrival and unpacking. She'd barely had time to eat a hasty dinner in the evening and go to bed.
Now she's up, and her native curiosity is aroused. Living in a building like this is a novel experience in and of itself, and she wants to see more of the place. Clad in her own set of sweats, pale gray fleece trimmed in rose over a black tanktop, she nods politely to one of the suited security types and peeks into the only open office door she sees: Eve's.
Eve Eve closes her laptop and sets it aside, a soft grunt of annoyance escaping her throat as she gets to her feet. She raises her arms over her head and stretches until she's perched on her tip-toes. "Christoph, can you alert the kitchen that the Doctor will be in for lunch, possibly?" She smiles over at the security man nearest to the door. Having taken care of that she walks around the patio, absently checking to see if some of the plants need water, while leaning down to smell others. Her eyes go to the enclosure that partially obscures the city view when she hears raised voices, but relaxes soon after as they move on. She folds her arms over her chest and scans the area with worried eyes.
Isabel No Eve? Hmm. Isabel turns, frowning thoughtfully, and finally sees something moving at glass doors at the back. Worth investigating!
She moves to the door to the patio and slowly pushes it open, smiling faintly as she sees who's out there.
But that's no reason to give herself away just yet. She steps quietly out into the enclosure, letting the door softly fall shut behind her.
Eve Eve stands facing Paris, her mind obviously far away as she watches people move past the building at a steady clip. She turns to go back to her seat and she spots Isabel, her hand on her heart as she yelps. "Oh..I didn't hear you come in." She breathes, a soft chuckle escaping her lips. "You are pretty light on your feet, aren't you?" She grins at Isabel then and walks towards her. "Did you rest all right?"
Isabel Isabel gasps herself as Eve breaks the silence so suddenly. "A little. It's kept me out of the clutches of zombies," she says, sighing softly in relief. "I think I did, actually. Maybe the safety helped."
She moves to join Eve, returning her smile. "Casual morning?" she asks playfully, seeing the sweats.
Eve Eve glances down at her clothes and her cheeks go pink. "Oh uhm.. I'm usually the only one in the office until a little after noon. Between the hospital and other obligations Emma leaves most of the early stuff to me." She shrugs awkwardly and smiles, her dimples showing. "I usually shower, put on my war paint and dress around noon." She says, smoothing out her shirt. "Are you hungry, or would you like some coffee?" She asks, suddenly remembering herself. "How was your room?" She gestures to the seating and takes a seat on her chair again, pulling her feet up.
Isabel Isabel giggles. "I'm teasing you, Miss Magnussen," she says, gesturing to her own sweats. "But some food would be welcome, and that's totally serious. All I had last night before bed was some soup, and I'd eaten almost nothing the whole day."
She joins Eve on the seat, leaning back with a sigh. "It feels funny, not having to look over my shoulder. Thank you for bringing me in."
Eve "I'm surprised you didn't approach the Doctor sooner, especially after the attempt on your life." Eve says, smiling over at Isabel. "You were doing well on your own, don't get me wrong, but.." She leaves it at that as she picks up her phone, tapping out a text. "They're going to bring you some eggs, bacon and something called grits." Eve says, after spending a few minutes on her phone. "And please, call me Eve." She adds looking over at Isabel and smiling. "Especially if we're to work together a bit, best to do that as friends." She sets down her phone and leans back into the chair. "I also wouldn't recommend relaxing your guard completely, after what happened to the Doctor's car.." She pauses, biting down on her bottom lip. "Uhm..the news called it a car accident, but it was actually a bomb." She glances over at Isabel, her eyes slightly wider, conveying her fear. "We're taking a lot of precautions now. We were too lax before."
Isabel "Well, she was in the hospital and all..." Isabel murmurs, blushing. "Plus, I didn't know she was TerraSave. Or that there were bunkers involved. So, lots of reasons I didn't. I mean, if they came after me while I was with her, that's two with one stooge."
She winces, recalling the news story and what she'd heard later, nodding to Eve. "I understand. But I'm being careful if I go outside, for sure. It's dangerous out there. Here? I'm not sure. But I'm figuring it's a lot harder to catch someone with their pants down," she adds, offering a smile that she hopes is reassuring.
Eve "I've only been here for a few weeks myself. I've been fully briefed to catch me up for the last few months though." Eve says, picking up her coffee and taking a drink. "My job is to keep Emma from being overwhelmed, and keep her safe." She glances over at Isabel and grins wryly. "Now you're part of all of this, so we'll do our best to keep you safe as well." Her bottom lip gets tugged between her teeth again. "I hope you trust us, we're going to do our best, I promise."
Isabel "I didn't think you'd do anything less," Isabel replies. "You don't strike me as someone who does anything by halves, and I'll help however I can."
While she speaks, her hand slowly crosses the space between her chair and the worried blonde's, her index and second fingers slowly curling into a hook. She suddenly moves, the hook catching the waist of Eve's sweatpants and pulling down, stretching below the level of the chair's seat. "But I think you'll have to keep a better eye out!"
Eve Eve bursts out laughing, the brassy sound loud and infectious. She gently bats at Isabel's hand and catches it in her own, squeezing it softly. "I can't help it if you're distracting me." She says, an impish smile playing at her lips. She shifts her butt around until her sweats settle back at her hip and she gazes at Isabel for a moment or two, her mouth opening to say something, but the silence is shattered by two men arriving with a tray of food. "Oh..breakfast." She says, gesturing for the men to set it up right where the two women are sitting. "So, I looked you up last night, tried to see what else you've published." She purses her lips and asks. "What motivates you?"
Isabel "I'm /distracting/ you? I'm just sitting here!" Isabel ripostes, trying not to giggle and not doing very well at it. "How am I distracting..?"
She hears the sound of footsteps, glancing up and shutting up as the two men arrive. She offers the two a smile as they set down the tray. "Thank you," she says, bowing her head gratefully.
She waits until they're gone before she replies. "Well... what Umbrella's doing is wrong. But I guess mostly it's for my Aunt Lyndsey. She was a nurse in Raccoon City," she says, lowering her eyes. "She'd be alive today if it weren't for Umbrella."
She pauses a second, swallowing hard. "She never even got the zombie virus. She was sick from something else, and no one could even treat her because the undead were all over the city by the time it happened. I did my best, but she was so sick, and she couldn't even get /medicine/..."
Eve Eve watches Isabel as she speaks and when the dark haired woman mentions her aunt Eve reaches out, placing a hand near her knee as she gives Isabel a sympathetic look. "Emma told me of some of the things that happened there. It sounds absolutely horrifying." She says, her voice low as she scoots a little closer. "To survive something like that, it brings you strength, and in your case..purpose." She sits quiet for a few minutes, gazing at the lifting fog before she adds. "One day, you will see yourself as others do, and perhaps see just how distracting you are."
Isabel Isabel shivers as the memories hit her, even under Eve's sympathetic gaze. "Emma was there, too. I'd almost forgotten. It was awful... I remember almost getting killed by a zombie grandmother. She must've gotten the virus early on, and her family locked her in her room..."
She shakes her head before the memories can suck her in. Blushing, she looks to Eve, reaching slowly down and squeezing the hand on her leg. "When I look in the mirror, I just see a scared girl from Mumford, Colorado, in way over her head."
Eve "That is not what I see when I look at you." Eve says, her serious gaze on Isabel. "You look like a strong woman, ready to do whatever she feels is necessary to protect as many people as she can." She gestures to Isabel's food and smiles. "Eat..eat." Eve urges, brushing a lock of her hair behind a small ear. "I had not even heard of Raccoon when I was in Stockholm." Eve confesses, a slight frown marring her features. "In fact, I knew nothing about any of this until I came to Paris. I had half hoped it was a very strange dream, but ..it's not, and a lot of people are getting hurt and killed."
Isabel "I'm not doing a very good job of protecting anyone," Isabel murmurs, even as she picks up her fork. "All I've done is scrounge food and shoot video footage in Raccoon City, and sneak into the quarantine zone here for more footage. I don't know how waving a camera around protects anyone."
She takes a bite of breakfast, and looks up at Eve again once she's swallowed it. "This is worse than Raccoon City, in a way. Raccoon City was isolated geographically from the rest of the state. The undead couldn't get out. But here, if any get out of the zone, they can make it to the countryside, and from there they just have to keep walking. They'll turn up someplace, and it'll start all over again. It's a gift that keeps on giving, in the worst possible way."
Eve Eve shakes her head slowly and smirks. "Showing people the truth so that they look over their shoulder is protecting people." A beat. "You open other peoples eyes to the truth." She gestures to her laptop. "People pay attention to what they see, they learn. You're helping them learn." Eve glances out towards the city as Isabel speaks of Paris. "I hope that things are as under control as some would like us to believe. That video..it shows that mistakes are being made, but at the same time people are being serious about the infection. Hard choices need to be made sometimes."
Isabel Isabel looks to the laptop. "Well, there've been no new stories of attacks. Maybe the quarantine is working the way it's supposed to, finally."
She frowns, thinking about that video she saw of the 'hard choices'. "That's something we need to talk about. I still don't know the story behind the video, or what happened that day. The footage says a lot, but if I put this on the Journal, I'll have to have more to tell folks for it to have much impact. Footage gets edited every day. Most people don't think that makes much difference. We have to tell them just how much it did /this/ time."
Eve "Honestly? I only know what I saw that night. That poor FBC agent, ripped in half..her body tossed away like it was..nothing" Eve takes a deep breath through her nose, her jaw clenched for a moment as she keeps her emotions under control. "The civilians..the chainsaw and the shooting. I believe we'll have you speak to the man who ordered the FBC to fire, I don't know if you've met him, his name is Esa Collins." She gazes at the laptop and looks solemn. "He can tell you what happened, and why."
Isabel Isabel winces in sympathy. But once Eve finishes speaking, she leans close and hugs the taller woman. "The name does sound a little familiar, but I've heard a lot of names since I got to Paris. It doesn't help that my French is awful. I guess there's not much I can do 'til I meet him." She squeezes a little tighter. "'Til then, let's not talk about it. I don't want to hear anything but what he tells me. Anything from later will have to be filtered through that. He was there. The commentators weren't."
Eve "Yes.." Eve breathes out a sigh of relief as she returns Isabel's embrace. "I love my job, but the last few weeks have been strain and shock. A diversion will be most welcome to that." She smiles at Isabel and after a moment she cants her head to the side. "You don't speak French very well? How long have you been in Paris?" She asks, an amused smile on her face. "I ..am a bit of a nerd, I speak four languages fluently. My parents insisted on it."
Isabel Isabel blushes. "Not long enough, apparently... I came in about a month before the Umbrella building was blown up. It was mostly to get out of the US. There'd been people following me. I was worried about what it'd lead to, so I managed to disappear. This was the first country the boat I was on got to. Paris was the only name I knew on the map in the train station in that port city... I never found out its name."
Eve Eve gets a mischievous look on her face and affects a rough American accent. "Stick with me kid, I'll show you the ropes." She says, her voice gutteral. She coughs and the cough turns into a laugh as she shakes her head. "There is always someone, somewhere that speaks a smattering of English in this city, thankfully, right?" She says, grinning over at Isabel.
Isabel "Eve... your American accent is about as bad as my French," Isabel teases, giving Eve a playful nudge in the ribs. "Thankfully, you're right: There /is/ usually someone around who speaks English. I guess it's a school subject here. If I'd had to shop for clothes with my command of French, I'd either be in rags, a gunnysack, or underwear now. That wouldn't be a pretty picture."
Eve Eve gazes over Isabel taking in her appearance from head to feet before she speaks softly. "I don't know about that." Her cheeks go pink and she takes in a breath, looking shocked at herself. "I'm ..excuse me. I'm being forward and that is unforgivable." She rubs her hands along the fabric of her sweatpants and then laughs softly and awkwardly. "Well, from now on, if you need aid.." She gestures to herself with a slender hand and smiles, her cheeks still pink. "I do a lot of running for Emma, and can certainly pick up anything you need as well."
Isabel Isabel's eyes widen in surprise, but after a moment she nods, as if something just clicked. "Suddenly I see why you said I was distracting," she says softly, even if her cheeks pinken a little as well. "I don't mind if you speak honestly, Eve. Forward or not. And I wouldn't think of asking you to fetch and carry for me, not when it'd be more fun to go with you and help you."
Eve Eve seems to be at a loss for words, her mouth opening as if she were going to speak but she simply looks at Isabel. She nods after a moment and her smile returns, this time sincere and bright, complete with dimples. "I would welcome the company." She says, her voice warm. "So long as it is safe, if I have to go out for something, I'll ask if you would like to join me."
Isabel "So would I. If there's one thing I wanted for in this town, it's friends and good company." Isabel returns Eve's smile, bowing her head respectfully. "So I hope Emma has lots of errands in the near future."
Eve "Now that she isn't able to go out and about on her own, she has." Eve says, chuckling softly. Two young women come out and clear up breakfast, handing Eve a glass of orange juice before they depart. "I'll see about getting a meeting set up between you and Esa, the sooner work is completed, the sooner we can both relax a little bit." She takes a sip of her juice and takes a deep breath. "I hope things settle down."
Isabel Isabel has to watch as two /completely different/ people come in to clear away what's left of breakfast. "Wow... this place has a lot of employees," she murmurs. "Where do they all come from?"
She nods, remembering that. "With luck, maybe he'll be available soon. The sooner I speak to him, the sooner I can get started on the next Zombietown Journal, this time in defense of the FBC. And maybe after that, things will quieten down. Paris could use some quiet, lately."
Eve "This place is not huge, but it's big enough." Eve says, leaning over to bump shoulders with Isabel. "I even have my own office, which..I'm avoiding right now because there are a lot of journalists who keep calling my office phone." She makes a face and then sighs. "They've gotten to be like sharks." She shakes her head and gazes warily out towards the foyer.
Isabel "About Emma?" Isabel asks, frowning thoughtfully. "Or is it something else? The video footage BBC butchered?" She blushes a little, knowing she's being tarred somewhere with a similar brush: A hack journalist with a camera and more gall than investigative smarts.
Eve Eve nods at Isabel and sighs. "Both, actually. They want more information about her 'accident' and they want more of an official statement about the footage than we have released thus far." She shakes her head and rolls her eyes as she continues. "Mainstream media has become a bit of a puppet, and once they can be purchased..well nothing that gets out there is ..the stark truth. Not anymore."
Isabel Isabel holds up a hand, snapping it open and closed animatedly like an excitedly yakking mouth. "That's one thing I've promised to myself: That I'll never become like them," she says firmly. "If I put something out there, it'll be the truth as best I know it."
Eve Eve laughs and nods at Isabel, relief evident on her features. "I have a few things to do, uhm..would you like to get together a bit later? For dinner maybe?" SHe asks, tentatively.
Isabel "I'd love to," Isabel replies, blushing a little at her own vehemence of moments ago. She manages a slightly shaky smile for the woman who's done so much for her recently. "I'll watch the video today, and take notes. But at dinner... no talking about it. I won't, you won't... promise?"
Eve "We'll find safe and happy subjects to talk about." Eve promises, giving Isabel a happy smile as she reaches out to clasp the womans hand. "Like..your goth lolita phase, and maybe where you got that coat?" She teases gently, squeezing Isabel's hand. "Make yourself comfortable, and ring me if you need anything, okay?"
Isabel "And how to improve your American accent, no doubt," Isabel ripostes playfully. But she squeezes Eve's hand in return, gently. "I promise, I'll ring you if I need anything. See you tonight... and thank you so much."