Talking Heads and Helmets

February 13, 2017:

From the magicky to the geeky, some strangers discover some interesting talking points when meeting up in Central Park

Central Park

Sitting on 843 acres of public land, Central Park is one of the
most famous sight-seeing spots in New York, and is considered large enough
to have its own police precinct (the Central Park Precinct) dedicated to its
protection. The Park boasts several lakes — all of which have been created
artificially — extensive walking and bridle paths, two ice skating rinks, a
variety of outdoor theater spaces, several playgrounds, and a considerable
collection of whimsical statuary. It is home to Belvedere Castle, the
Carousel, the Central Park Zoo, the Conservatory, and Cleopatra's Needle
(one of three, 70-foot Egyptian obelisks from the Temple of Ra in Helios,
its mates residing in London and Paris).
On the east side corner of Central Park, the Manhattan island zoo
might be considered small for a zoo in such a famous city. The animals in
residence skew toward those that are able to put on shows, perhaps in an
attempt to draw crowds through cute tricks as opposed to variety. Past the
gift shop and the cafe, the largest open space is occupied by a manicured
garden and the slightly raised sea lion tank surrounded by seats and a slate
courtyard. The sides of the tanks are made of thick glass to give visitors
greater visibility into the depths of the water.
Many of the other exhibits, like the penguins and the tropical
birds, are in enclosed buildings to the east and west. Mimicking the feel of
the vast park that surrounds it on three sides, the zoo feels more like a
large green courtyard and meeting space. It is a playground that happens to
have exotic animals living nearby.


NPCs: Rex



Mood Music: [*\# None.]

Fade In…

It's late afternoon, heading on to evening, in Central Park. Shadows are falling as twilight descends and the slowly retreating sun casts a ruddier light than earlier in the day. Professional camera in hand — albeit a film camera, rather than a digital one — and ever-present satchel on her hip, her large white dog by her side, Dana Maddox-Hunt, sometimes known as Rune, kneels to examine some stones near the so-called 'castle' beside the lake in the park. She reaches out a brown gloved hand to brush some snow off of one of the flagstones, head canted curiously.

In a text conversation earlier, Pepper admitted to Dana that she was suffering from 'cabin fever' and they planned to meet here in Central Park. Hastily, she finished up any pending work while placing a request for a 'picnic' basket. Thus, dressed casually (compared to her usual) in jeans, a deep teal peacoat, and a cream-colored lace shawl acting as a scarf, Pepper is walking toward aforementioned castle with a stereotypical lidded woven basket in one hand. And, because she knows Dana and … Thorn (ONE day she will remember.. Rex! His name is Rex!) will likely hear her approaching, she says softly enough for canine ears to pick up despite the distance, "Hello, Rex."

"Can't an old man just go for a stroll?"

"Hmph. Be that as it may, I'm still walking."

"You're beginning to sound tiresome N — ." The conversation appears to be happening between a dusky-skinned, white haired man and… himself. He walks through the park, arms at his sides, not quite dressed for the cold and yet not seeming to feel it either. He cuts himself off mid-sentence before saying the name of the (supposedly imaginary) person to whom he is speaking, just as he walks by a woman with a camera and a satchel, and another red-haired lady.

In a shadow nearby, the silver-haired elf named Darkedge and a blackhaired elf in a winter cloak materialized. Darkedge glanced about the area, recognizing it easily despite the still too bright twilight. The sun was setting. He knew. It will be dark enough soon.

The park again, he comments mentally to the elfess at his side. The send was open, but softly offered. Those sensative to such things may hear it clearly. He stepped from the shadow's heart, toward its edge, eyes settling on the fae-born and the red haired human, whom of both he's met. Ah, and the Grim. An old man talking to himself. Darkedge inhales, as if he were trying to catch the scent of something.

Vanja couldn't help but sigh. ** Of course the park. We really must learn to stay out of here. It seems as if those people enjoy congregating here. **

She follows his gaze to the two women, recognizing them from living his memories. ** No good ever comes from this place. ** Because she distincrly remembers what happened the last time he ran into them.

When he inhales, she steps from the shadow with him, cloak pulled tightly and her leaning into his side. ** What is it? **

Dana looks at the stone for a moment longer and then, perhaps oddly, takes a photo of it. As Rex's tail starts to wag and his front feet do a brief canine two-step when he detects Pepper's scent and hears her greeting, Dana lifts her own head and glances towards the source of Rex's attention. A smile touches her lips and she rises, slinging the camera back down around her neck. "I see you made it. I'm impressed." No one at Stark waylaid the redhead. That's something.

The man's approach is at first largely ignored, but there's a sense that pulls her attention towards him. In her life, it pays to be attentive to magic emanations. He doesn't immediately set off threat klaxons for her, however, so she doesn't do much more than simply note his progress.

It's Rex, however, that senses the elves, giving Dana a soft *hrff* to alert her that something else approaches — something he's less sure of, despite his last encounter with the one of them. She takes her camera from around her neck and, detatching the lens, places both in her bag before she adjusts another object within it to have a wooden end stick just out of the corner, far enough to be pulled in a hurry, if necessary. Just in case.

"It's amazing how busy this place is, even this late in the afternoon," she tells her friend.

The old man also notes the arrival of the elves, eliciting a raised eyebrow from him. Concealed by a spell at his side, the golden helmet of Nabu turns around to look at them as well, and then to look at Dana.

The female senses me, says a voice from the helmet, speaking only to Hall although its presence might well be sensed by magical beings — anyone with the Sight — around it.

"'The female' likely has a name and prefers using it," the old man grunts very softly.

Leave, now.

"No. Now be quiet." Smiling benignly, the old man approaches and waves a hand at the dog. "That's a smart-looking animal," he tells the lady with the camera. "What's his name?"

His name is R — .


The old man smiles again, a bit more tightly this time.

Pepper chuckles softly at Dana. "Yeah, well, I might have snuck out the door without telling anybody." Except for Dmitri at the front desk, and the chef who prepared the snacks in the picnic basket and …

The older gentleman talking (probably) on a bluetooth doesn't really catch Pepper's attention until he's stepped over to say hello and inquire about Rex. That's when she notices he's not got any kind of earpiece. So… harmless looney? It won't be the first of that sort that she's encountered, likely won't be the last.

Because of Hector's distraction, Pepper completely fails to notice Darkedge and his companion nearby. It doesn't help that she doesn't have an ever-vigil AI here to watch her surroundings for her.

There's something else here. The fae-born and her canine I'm aware of… This is… soemthing wholey… different, Darkedge replies to the last question. Not that he didn't hear Vanja's other comments, or didn't agree with them. It's just that this new source of magic, unlike what he's sensed before, needs to be located.

The human elder, Darkedge says, eyes drawn toward Hall… body almost drawn. Almost. It's brighter than he'd like, but… not so bright thta he's blind. Stepping from the shadow's fully, having noticed the man's glance at him and still feeling that magic about him… a magic that had… 'looked' at him in a way, Darkedge remains wary though his mind offers a push of acknowledgement, greeting the two women wordlessly. No doubt the helmet can sense it, even if Darkedge doesn't realize it.

Dana cants her head as the man approaches. As he speaks, she offers a courteous smile. "Rex," she tells him — though there's a subtle hesitation before she does. But, the cwn annwn, like the elves at the treeline, has a secret name, in any case.

"Who are you kidding?" Dana then says to Pepper, green eyes twinkling. "I can think of three people off the top of my head who know you're gone and very likely where you've gone." She's Pepper Potts, after all.

As she senses Darkedge's silent greeting, she turns slightly towards them, stepping back in a way that somehow includes them in the growing circle on the stones. She says nothing, but there is a way that her head inclines that gives a sense of a formal bow of greeting. Rex simply turns to watch them, keeping half an eye on the old man as he does. Again, his front two feet shift briefly in that two-step, though for a slightly different reason, now.

"Rex, pleasure meeting you," says the old man to the dog with a smile, then adding: "I'm Hector Hall." He glances aside at Dana and his eyes gleam. "You can all me Hector." The hoary-headed fellow smiles next at Pepper Potts. "I recognise you, Ms. Potts — Stark Industries? Pleased to meet you."

Although he addresses the people in front of him, the concealed, floating helmet remains staring… at the elves standing in the shadows. There would be a profound sense of… distrust coming from that helmet, even if it cannot quite be seen physically.

I'm sure they don't mean us any harm… Hector projects psychically, aiming his thoughts at the helmet, but also allowing the elves to 'hear' him too.

Vanjasyl returns to OOC Land.

Pepper nods as Hector introduces himself. "A pleasure to meet you, Mr. Hall." She shifts the basket, but doesn't say anything about it aloud, as it wasn't really packed with a whole bunch of people in mind. She does, though, notice Dana's attention aimed elsewhere and glances over and … thinks maybe she sees the slightest bit of something glinting silvery? Then she senses more than hears the elf's greeting, and she blinks in surprise before glancing at Dana. What're the chances?

A private thought from Vanja to Darkedge, the female elf reaches up to touch the brooch at her throat and then vanishes. It leaves Darkedge alone, just barely a half step out of the shadows. He returns the nod. With the darkness beginning to grow, he can easily see Pepper having trouble seeing him. He owes her nothing but her hospitality, so he steps further into the fading light.

I do not, Darkedge tells the human, whose thoughts he heard. Which is surprising. The sensation sneakign into his mind's words. Nor did my companion. I would offer my apologies for her. Humans have not treated her kindly. She is wary, he adds, pressing his thoughts further to ensure Pepper can also hear him.

What are the chances, indeed?

Dana gives Pepper a wry, trifle dry smile as she straightens. "A pleasure to meet you, Hector," she tells the old man. Rex swings his head around and sniffs at the man, glancing up almost unerringly to where Nabu floats invisibly. He stares at it a moment or two and then returns his attention to Darkedge.

"She's right to be wary," Dana tells Darkedge. "The Park can be dangerous at this time of day." Or night, as the case may be. The sun is still high enough that there's still light for human eyes, though the lamps in the park have begun to light.

Hector resists the urge to glare at the Helmet of Nabu.

It gets harder with every attempt of Nabu to influence him when he's out and about — 'being himself' — but then, arguing with an invisible helmet (or a visible one) would bring on all sorts of issues by itself. See what I mean? he silently tells Nabu, glancing physically back at the elves — or elf, now. My name is Hector Hall, he projects to Darkedge. This other… person… is Nabu. Ignore him — if you can. I'm still trying.

He turns back to Dana, Rex and Pepper and smirks at the dog sniffing the invisible helmet. "Now no one pays any attention to you doing that," he murmurs at the dog wryly. "What brings everyone here, then?" He eyes the camera with Dana, and glances particularly at Darkedge.

Now that she has proof that it's Darkedge out there, she offers the silver-haired elf a smile just as friendly as the one she shared with both Hector and Dana. "Well, I'm here to meet with Dana and catch up a bit." Now she lifts the basket a bit as if to point it out. "And I brought refreshments. There's a bench nearby, shall we all go have a seat?" When all else fails, it's always safe to fall back on hostess level niceties.

Darkedge nods one to Dana, waiting there just in that patch of light.

Indeed, is all the elf offers to the idea of the park being dangerous. His silver eyes return to Hall, sensing scanning over him again, not at all sure where or what is causing that odd scent of magic.

Magic, the elf replies to the human. Pepper's invitation draws Darkedge's gaze, and his head tilts in a foxlike manner. Not wishing to be rude, Darkedge inclines his chin and offers a wash of acqueescence.

Deciding that, for the sake of general courtesy, playing it relaxed is the better choice, Dana gives Pepper a smile. "Sounds great to me." Certainly, Rex won't complain about a snack; the big dog never does. She starts to move towards the bench, herself, allowing Pepper to sit first, and then sits beside her. "It's nice it's not as cold as it has been, tonight." Of course, that's more important for some people than others. Her boots, jeans, and sheerling-lined leather coat are certainly proof enough against the cold for her.

Rex follows along beside her, occasionally tracking the helmet only he seems to see… because it's grumpy.

We should not, says the helmet, now audible to both Darkedge and Dana (as well as Rex).

"I'd be delighted," counters Hector as if the helmet had never spoken.

I do not approve of — .

"I don't care — about the cold," Hector goes on to say as he stands up again and makes his way over to the bench. He partly lowers the cloaking spell woven around the helmet, so that the magic-users around him can actually see it. The helm is pure gold, with matching symbols of the Eye of Ra engraved around each eye-slit, and it appears to move independently of Hector — looking wherever it wants, but never floating far away from him.

Nabu does not do… 'refreshments in the park', child, it rebukes.

"I love refreshments," Hector replies, speaking as though he were just making a random statement, although it might still sound odd.

"Well, the only magic I have on me is the sauce that was sent to go with the spple slices." Pepper seems unperturbed that she can nither hear nor see Nabu now that Hector has introduced him — Nabu could be a pink, six-foot tall rabbit for all she cares. It/he seems real enough to both Hector and Rex, and that's good enough for her. And Darkedge should know by now that if she's brought food stuffs for Dana that they'll be safe for him as well.

Having settled on the bench, she has the basket on her lap and opens it to offer Dana and then Hector each a small glass carafe of water (with plastic lids), and then pulls a pair of cleverly collapsible wodden cups from where they're secured to the lid of the basket. "Sorry, I hadn't really anticipated serving extra guests."

That voice… it's old, powerful, arrogant. Darkedge tries to locate the source, silver eyes locking onto the artifact as it shimmers into 'view'. He memorizes the symbols, the look, the feel of the item, surprises that it is a THING and not a BEING. Though… hearing its thoughts, perhaps it IS a being… traped in the thing. Nabu. Must memorize name. Settling on the grass, Darkedge pulls a stone from one of the pouches of his belt. it is a sapphire, perfectly smooth like a riverstone, and about the size of a AA battery. Not that it stays that way for long.

The faint hint of magic about him, from his clothes and general state of being, increases around the stone which he presses into with a thumb. It smooshes like putty under his touch, and like an invisible potter was throwing it on a wheel, a reasonably sized drinking tumbler rests in his palm…. made of sapphire. He holds it out to Pepper.

Shall I make another one? he offers, almost amiably.

Dana's brow arches faintly as the helm becomes more visible to her. Like Darkedge, she spends a moment inspecting and memorizing it for later research, but otherwise doesn't comment. She understands Rex's attention on it. It really is grumpy.

She leaves Pepper to answer Darkedge's question, but she does take one of the cups from Pepper, still empty, to examine it simply because of curiosity at its craftsmanship. "This is neat," she tells her friend. "Like those plastic thingies from when I was a kid."

Hall does not offer to conjure anything for the group — not straight away. He engages in a 'glare-war' with the helmet for a little bit, finally smiling in gratitude over at Darkedge. "Thank you," says he with a nod.

Of Pepper, Hall inquires: "I'm curious, Ms. Potts, about Stark Industries — what's it like managing something so… big?" he could just as easily be referring to Mr. Stark himself, as the actually company. "I've a bit of an engineering background, myself — would it be possible to schedule a… oh, I don't know, tour?"

Frivolous! the helmet barks at him.

Hall's right eye twitches, and he turns back to Darkedge. "Darkedge, is that right? May I ask where you're from — if it's not a rude question?"

Pepper blinks in open amazement as Darkedge takes a pretty blue stone and turns it into a cup. "Wow. May I … commission you to make some pieces in the near future? I can supply the materials if you need." It'd cost her a near fortune, unless she goes with less spendy things, like quartz and amethyst, but it'd be more than worth it.

"Mr. Hall, I would be delighted to have you drop by for a tour. And, well, to be honest, running a company that big means I've become VERY good at delegating tasks to other people who know how to do their jobs.

Darkedge notes the glare-war with a budding sense amusement. One corner of his mouth twitches in the want to smirk. Asked for another cup, Darkedge nods, fishes a yellow topaz out and turns it into a cup to hold out to Pepper.

Commision? The word is new. The intent is not. I would need the materials, yes. But I can procure them, if you have an open vein available to me.

To Hall, his head tilts. Avalon. is the reply.

Dana hands the cup back to Pepper, once she's finished her examination and takes the liberty of laying out a few of the foodstuffs on an empty spot accessible to all — atop the basket. Rex comes to sit in the middle of everyone, his big tail sweeping away some snow.

"Commission: Pepper wants to trade with you for your creations," she tells Darkedge. "You'll need to decide a fair exchange, unless you wish to gift it to her."

"Avalon…" Hall murmurs, now thoroughly intrigued. If the Helmet of Nabu is rebuking him again (privately), the hoary-headed man gives no sign of it — perhaps he has at last managed to ignore Nabu completely? for now… "We should speak again sometime," he tell Darkedge, eyes alight.

Shifting his attention back to Pepper and Dana, he smiles once more and holds out a hand; a business card seemingly appears between his fingers (whether by sleight of hand or magic), and then divides into three. Okay, that part is magic. He floats the three cards to Pepper, Dana and Darkedge — each one displaying some contact details. In Pepper's case, a quick background check (back at the office) would reveal some details about Hall's association with SHIELD — it isn't a secret.

"I'll look forward to that tour," he tells her with a smile. To Dana he asks: "So…Dana, was it? I may have forgotten: what do you do? Reporter?"

Pepper grins at Dana's comment about the collapsible wooden cups. It would be very much like Pepper to take one of those little plastic things and have someone recreate it in a high quality material. Now that there are enough cups to go around, one glass carafe is opened and the cups filled.

Letting Dana explain commissions to Darkedge, Pepper nods to Hector with a smile. "I will too. And yes, Nabu, even you are invited, even if you think it might be frivolous or wasteful." She feels like she's humoring the man, but heck. Why not?

I shall think of something then, should the Lady wish something, Darkedge comments, giving Dana a nod of thanks for the more thorough explanation of commission. When the card is offered, Darkedge takes it, frowning at the odd symbols upon its surface. It's very clear that the elf had no understanding of writing whatsoever. But, it was gifted and so Darkedge tucks it into a different pouch than the one he is getting the stones from.

We should. Send for me. I can find you. Your magic, that of your companion, is distinctive, replies the elf. He is just about to reach out for the water when his head snaps to one side, eyes glittering slightly.

My apologies his mind seems to mutter. He rolls to his knees, brings one foot up as if he's just going to stand but that foot is in Pepper's shadow, and so when his weight is shifted onto his foot, he seems to step into that shadow and vanishes.

Darkedge heads to the Quiet Room.

Dana never mentioned what she does. Her reputation in the art and photojouralism worlds is fairly solid, however she doesn't expect most people to know it. Especially since she's been 'out of circulation', so to speak, for the last year and change. "I'm a photographer," she tells Hall, taking the card from him and looking at it for a moment. "And a photojournalist."

She glances at Darkedge as he 'speaks'… and then he steps into shadow. "Hm," she muses, sure now of what she suspected before. "Shadowdancer." Or something akin to one, anyway.

She accepts the cup from Pepper and lifts in silent thanks. "Are you retired now, Hector?" No sense dwelling on the elf. "As an engineer, I mean." She doesn't believe he's retired his magic. That's apparently still quite strong.

And again, Pepper is startled by something Darkedge does, though less so this time. Lifting her own cup of water as if in salute to Dana, she accepts the card floated over to her, glances at it, then tucks it into an inside pocket on her peacoat. She seems to take this magical stuff surprisingly well, considering she is the most Muggley Muggle to ever Muggle around all of this magic stuff. Case in point, she can't see or hear Nabu. At all.

"You could say that, yes…" Hall replies, placing his hands over his rump and arching his back a bit. "Engineering is… a bit of a hobby now — but the real trick is finding the time. There's always something…"

Your distractions make you vuln — .

"I've always admired photojournalism — capturing moments. Happy moments, sad… inspiring, provocative… You can do so much with just a moment. Do you display photos around the house?"

He smirks a bit and looks at Pepper. "Do you get out much, Ms. Potts?" he inquires, eyes alight with interest. Ah, but it feels good to just 'chat' with people — no major crisis to resolve… at least, not right now. "Favourite hobbies?"

"Occasionally," Dana tells him. She takes a sip of the water and smiles at its clarity. "The ones I particularly like." The ones that allow her to see places she otherwise finds confusing because of the Shadows that flicker there. That's the joy of being a True Seer. She can see all the realities that overlay and bump up against this one almost as clearly as the real world around her. It takes great strength of mind to stay focussed. Fortunately, Dana has that in spades.

Rex moves forward and puts his nose on the seat beside Pepper, staring up at her with big brown eyes.

Snacks in the form of fresh fruits, vegetables, cheeses, and flatbreads are distributed. Pepper can only chuckle at Hector's questions. "Sorry to say, Mr. Hall, I don't. I'm usually extremely busy with work, and outings like this are rare." Favorite hobby? Uh… Pepper actually glances at Dana at that question, even as she slips a cube of cheese to Rex.

Rex takes the cheese with the gusto only a dog can display. He's happy. And, hey, he even managed to keep his drool to an absolute minimum. But, really, this is why he likes Pepper. She always has food.

Well, that and Dana trusts her.

As Pepper glances to her, Dana actually chuckles. "Mostly true," she concedes. "But, there was that Dr. Who marathon last year…" Before she disappeared. She points at the red head. "Closeted geek. Right here."

"No rest for the wicked," Hall replies with a sigh, hands on his hips. "And the righteous never sleep…" Or the self-righteous… he adds mentally.

I heard that, Nabu retorts, audible to Dana and Rex. The helmet stares resolutely back at the dog, as if daring the animal in a challenge of some kind… but it does little more than just that.

"Doctor… what?" Hector inquires. "Oh." He nods his head, closing his eyes and smirking wryly at himself. "I remember. I haven't watched much of Doctor Who in a while — I swear it feels like another lifetime ago…"

That was childish, Hector, rebukes Nabu.

"I'm not the one staring down a dog," Hector counters, only then realising he has spoken out loud. "Ah… haha. Please ignore that."

Pepper can only smile at that. "Yes, yes, I admit it. I like Doctor Who, and Star Trek. And, some of the other things." If she starts naming them all, they'll be here until tomorrow. "Although I have to admit, I don't really care for the new Doctor. I keep waiting for him to shouting obscenities at people." She's clearly making a reference to something there. Rex gets another cube of cheese. "Maybe Nabu is envious because I can't share cheese?"

Dana, on the other hand, doesn't ignore Hector. She can't. It's too funny. So, she laughs. "Your helm," she notes, gesturing in its general direction before adding for Pepper's benefit, "Nabu is a magical and, I daresay, sentient helm that's here invisibly," before she finishes her comment to Hector, "is quite opinionated, I think."

Rex looks up at her, far smarter than the average dog, and chuffs in such a way that could be easily translated by all present as a derisive snirk. The helm is grumpy, as far as he's concerned, but not worthy of response… unless or until it offers more overt threat. He looks up at it and… one might swear he crosses his eyes at it. Except dogs aren't really capable of that. Are they? He then returns his attention to Pepper. And CHEESE. (Priorities, you know.)

Of course, if it wasn't obvious before, that comment will certainly confirm Dana's magical nature to Hector — confirming Nabu's earlier words about the 'female' sensing it.

The helmet goes silent.

Hector… smiles.

"He's pouting now," the old man explains with a smirk. To Pepper he adds: "Nabu — the spirit inside the helm — doesn't like non-mages; well, he doesn't like anyone. There's only 'the cause'. You do know who she is, don't you?" he asks of Nabu, although the spirit refuses to reply.

Hector shrugs.

"You get used to it — or go mad," says he (with just a twinge around his eye when he mentions the word 'mad'; this might suggest that it is a rather real concern for him… or it could be just a twitch).

"I remember Tom Baker's Doctor," Hector continues, happy to discuss 'geeky things'. The expression on his face is somewhat distant…he does appear, after all, to be old enough to have seen Tom Baker as 'The Doctor' when it first showed… but there is more to it than that.

He was a different man back then.

Hector's eyes go wide suddenly.

"Just like the Doctor…" he murmurs aloud…

Pepper looks from Dana to where Rex has been staring, as if she can now suddenly see Nabu. "Oh, really. You know, I can think of another disembodied voice that would just adore someone to snark back and forth with." Of course, there's that whole 'magic and tech don't mix' problem…

Hector's trailing off about the Doctor has her looking at him again. "Mr. Hall?" After all, she remembers Tom Baker as well, though only very vaguely from when she was a child.

"I hear that," Dana murmurs, when Hector mentions madness. Indeed, she totally understands what Hector's talking about. There's a reason she avoids graveyards, hospitals, and churches. And it has nothing to do with being a Witch, but everything to do with being a Seer… and the daughter of a psychopomp.

The Witchborn Sidhe halfblood may not know much about Hector, aside from the fact that his aura reads 'good, if a little stressed, guy', but she can imagine that a mage with an unseen familiar might be older than he appears. So, while the last comment is a non-sequitur to her, it's not enough to fluster her.

Unfortunately, however, her cell phone chooses that moment to ring. "I'm sorry," she says, "excuse me a moment." She picks up the phone and steps away. After a few moments, she returns and reaches out to stroke Rex's white head. "That was my Mother," she says, mostly for Pepper's benefit. "I'm afraid I have to scoot. I'll call you later, though." With that, she turns to Hector and gives him both a smile and a nod. "A pleasure to meet you, Hector. I hope we bump into each other again." She glances to the ostensibly invisible helm. "Try not to drive him crazy in the meantime, hmm?"

With that she and a reluctant Rex take their leave, off to hail a taxi at the edge of the park. (One does not drive one's self when one can't tell what's a pedestrian and what's a shadow, after all.)

The Helmet of Nabu swivels around to glare back at the Sidhe halfblood — which is something in itself, that Nabu would even acknowledge her. Hector smiles a little and waves to the woman as she leaves.

"I look forward to meeting you again, Dana," he tells her, and shifts his attention back to Pepper. "I might have to do the same, I think," he confesses with a sigh. "But I'd very much like to visit the office. It's been a delight meeting you, after all."

With a smile and a nod, Pepper watches Dana take her leave, then look to Hector again. Sorry, Nabu. She can't see you so she can't be polite to you. "That's perfectly fine, Mr. Hall. I have to get back soon myself." Mostly to make sure that Tony hasn't caused any more explosions since she snuck out of the building. "I will check my calendar and see when I have a free lunch hour. We can take a quick tour then." She packs up the picnic basket, inwardly marvelling at the cups that Darkedge left behind as she sets them in with everything else. "It has been a true pleasure to meet you as well. And yes, even you, Nabu, even if I'm now mentally picturing you as a BAFTA version of Grumpy Cat."

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