Fear And Bloating In L. A.

Summary:
<November 22, 2014>: Keith and Kate go away for the weekend to get that thing from that guy, and get involved in a mob hit. Fun times.

Hollywood

Tinseltown. It smells of whiskery and bad decisions.


Characters

NPCs

  • Giancarlo "Daniel" DiStefano, Collector of Treasures
  • Mobsters

Mood Music:
Bad Guys


Sunny California, the land of the rich and famous, of interminable commutes and crammed highways. Kate Bishop cannot fly, which is why she had rented a car after their train had arrived- which was fine by Keith O'Neil, because he also could not fly, because some people got all the best powers. The Los Angeles Union Station had been… an experience. As had been driving away from Los Angeles and towards Hollywood. Technically speaking it was a thirty minute drive (via S. Western Avenue), but that thirty minute drive turned into an hour and a half. Keith complained about traffic for about one third of that trip (because he's a New Yorker, and traffic is something New Yorkers always revert to, when it's time to complain)- but the hotel into which Kate checked them in left him speechless.

It was swanky. No, it was special swanky- it was swanky with gloss and sparkle. After a quick shower and unpacking, they're both ready to go and meet Giancarlo DiStefano. In the time between drying himself up and putting on his clothes (elegant clothes, to be sure, part of the set that he got for the Waller mission. No harm in using those after all) Keith asks himself whether he is doing something incredibly crazy and unwise…

The answer is yes. He repeats it to himself in the lobby as he waits for Kate… but what the hell. He knows why he's doing it.

Kate fits right in here. New York and L.A. definitely have their differences, but money is money, and Kate's not exactly the old money sort who makes a big deal about it. When she skips down the stairs, she has the tailored skinny pants and bright silk shirt thing going on, a pair of expensive sunglasses on her head. "Sunny L.A.," she says cheerfully as she joins Keith, spinning the car keys around one finger. "Definitely an improvement." Despite her good spirits, she does have a bit of a limp to her step, favoring her right knee.

Keith knows better than to ask indelicate questions. Questions such as 'Oh my god did you hurt yourself?' Mostly because the young man does wonder for a moment if one of his antics on Party Night may have caused that. "You ready to do this?" He grins, walking with Kate to the car. "I'm honestly surprised you're not telling me this is a crazy hare-brained scheme, you know."

The drive to the mansion… well, traffic is not as heavy on the way there, but it does take a little longer than it should. Some sort of event is re-routing traffic. Or maybe a supervillain is fighting someone, you never knew.

The DiStefano estate is a prime example of sheer excess. While it's nowhere near the monstrosity of the Dayton estate, there is clearly enough marble to build a castle, and there is too much gold and chrome, the kind of abundance of means that sometimes is paired with a lack of good taste. The security is quite tight, and Keith has to state his name three times and show his ID at the gate, before they are buzzed in.

"…wow." The redhead mutters, looking at some of the statues that line the road inside. "…I have no words."

The waiting room/hall to which they are directed makes Elvis' jungle room seem moderate and sedate by comparison.

"I'm getting… a weird vibe from this guy." Keith has done his research on the man… but no article speaks of him beyond the point of him being a successful businessman and a famous collector.

"This room looks like something right out of the seventies…" there's shag carpet in shocking red and green. There are stuffed animal heads. There are mirrors, and there are paintings.

The paintings are quite exquisite, in fact, but surrounded by everything in this room, they seem to be mouthing 'help me…'

Kate seems comfortable with the whole process of getting checked into the building and going through security. Then again, visitors at the Bishop household have to go through much the same. The decor, on the other hand…She eyes some of the animal heads, hands in her pockets as she turns in a slow circle to see all of it for proper perspective. "So, I guess he got some of his money by not spending it on decorators," she murmurs.

Somewhere in El Pueblo de Nuestra Senora la Reina de los Angeles del Rio de Porciuncula there is a man with exceptionally good taste in collectible items, and horrible taste in display. He has the first set of silver-heeled shoes worn in the ORIGINAL Wizard of Oz movie. He has the fur jacket that was sent by Jack and Bobby to Marilyn before it was decided that it was Improper … he actually retrieved that one himself, one of his first jobs. He even has nineteen minutes of tape that was copied off the masters at the White House before a secretary demonstrated her gymnastically advanced office skills. (It's pretty boring, there really wasn't anything useful on it.)

He also has a rather lovely necklace, a silver chain with a sparkling gold, leaf-shaped pendant about the size of a well-manicured woman's fingernail; it's decorated with actual emerald and garnet, and was really not the property of the studio. It belonged to R___ F___, the actress, before her encounter with strange volcanic gasses in Africa that left her with the power to expand and contract her body to huge or tiny sizes, and stretch her limbs like elastic. It meant that she could perform the movie "Attack of the 65 Foot Woman" without a stunt-double and without special effects, but it also meant that she had some trouble getting the same glamorous roles as the lovely female lead (or even as character actress) because she was … well. It's Hollywood.

The person leading the two visitors through the Collection Hall is not a butler. Butlers do not wear suits that are poorly cut to conceal weapons. They also do not glare at the guests when they express their distaste for the Boss's decoration style. Even though they know it sucks because even though they are a thug, they are a Hollywood thug.

Giancarlo DiStefano was an east-coast thug before he moved west where the sun was, and changed his name to sound slightly less like a gangster. Danny-Boy DiStefano was a Hollywood thug, but Daniel DiStefano is fifty years older than he was, and while he seems not to have aged so much as one would expect (It's Hollywood) he is also still not a young man. His hair is still black, the color of expensive dye, and his features are like rich, well-wrinkled Corinthian leather (the sun does that.) He has a maturity and gravitas, when he's dealing with his … not thugs, not minions. His ASSOCIATES. His ARMY.

"Welcome, welcome," DiStefano says, inviting the two young people into his personal office.

"You catch me on a busy day, but how can I possibly turn down the chance to meet the new Hawkeye." He ignores Keith. He probably shouldn't, but it seems he has a powerful sense of Detect Money and has assumed that the young man is an escort.

"Huh?" Kate Bishop, folks. Super articulate. "Oh! Yeah, no, actually, I'm just helping out my friend, here," she explains with a flash of a smile, gesturing toward Keith. "But, uh. Nice to meet you, all the same," she adds, trying out that polite smile again. It's something she knows how to do, thanks to more than enough parties and benefits. "You've got quite the collection here, though. It must've taken you years to get some of these things. I have to imagine there's a lot of waiting for the right things just to hit the market."

Keith's reaction to being ignored is — well, it normally would be rather awful. But he's not stupid and he has got his eyes on the price here — and that price was something that could mean a lot to someone who meant a lot to him. So the redhead simply smiles, almost catlike, as Kate speaks of him to DiStefano. In a mellifluous, well-rehearsed voice, Keith simply says, "How do you do?"

Let him ask who he was, Kate was doing the heavy lifting. She was good.

DiStefano says, in a Hollywood Thug voice, "Charmed," to Keith. He temples his fingers. The girl was appreciative of the collection, which is nice, as most people don't really get the trouble involved in assembling such a hoard. And she hasn't said a word about him needing to hire a curator. Like that bi…sunesswoman from the Mayor's office that keeps trying to get him to put it all in boxes and behind glass where he can't TOUCH it.

"So, you went to the trouble to arrange a meetin', folks. You ain't reporters, I don't have business back east, so this can't be a professional visit. What can we do for each other?"

"Right to the point," Kate says with a small, approving smile. "Well, like I said, I know how hard it can be, waiting for things to hit the market. We heard you have some things in your collection that we'd be interested in. And I thought well, it certainly couldn't hurt to come out here and make an offer. Worst case scenario, I get a tan, right?" she grins.

Keith continues to smile, keeping his eyes fixed on the man. Now he wishes he had gotten a pair of sunglasses. He doesn't really know how to negotiate, but he knows that making a blunt overture at this point would be unwise. Kate seems to have a better handle of how these things are done, so he nods slowly when she speaks, once, and keeps his silence, letting his smile fade into a faint Mona Lisa.

A tan. Yeah, that's worth a chuckle, because Danny DiStefano knows the dismalness that is a winter on the east coast. That would be why he came out here to the Land of the Golden Sun. The boychik isn't saying anything, which means the Bishop girl is the brains of the outfit, at least as far as talking goes.

"I see. And would this be a cash transaction, or are we discussing favors? And by favors I don't mean sex, just to get that right off the table," DiStefano says, leaning a bit forward at his desk.

"But we're getting ahead of ourselves. What 'things' are you wondering if I might be willing to part with?"

"I'm not much of one for favors," Kate shakes her head. "But cash can be on the table. Alternatively, we might be able to work out some sort of trade in kind. I'm guessing you have a few collections you wouldn't mind rounding out, or having a companion for. There's a necklace, actually. An old, less famous actress. So of course we had to come to someone with a taste for more unique items."

"We do have ways to help complete some collections. Or sometimes adding obscure but valuable elements to them." The young man smirks a little. The briefcase he is carrying, of course, has no weapons in it- security saw to that. Nevertheless, what he has in it might just add to their bargaining chip.

"Obscure actress… that doesn't even begin to narrow it down, folks. I have mementos of obscure actresses from 1912 through 2012. That's a century of lovely but forgotten. Tell me a name," Danny says, "and I will tell you what I have, and whether it's for sale, or trade."

Meanwhile, in the kitchen, a Hollywood Thug has just received a large amount of something that's very unhealthy but profitable, that normally goes in through the nose. He's been given a terrifyingly large amount of this something, and is on his way out to his vehicle, where he hopes he will escape while a small group of very armed and very stealthy men - the Mafia doesn't have ninjas, they call them Technicians this week - are moving into the house. The "butler" is fortunate, the three Guatemalan cleaning women are less fortunate, because they were also well trained and the Technicians know this, so they just dart them… the poison on the darts is a sort of 'beauty treatment' — botox, in a much larger dose than they would get to lose their wrinkles.

"In," one of them says into a Dick Tracy watch. "S2" the watch flashes in return.

The safe is actually in another library than the one in which Kate and Keith are being entertained. The alarms… not very hard to turn off with the housekeeper's ID, because Danny was going to go in there later and get out some papers… something Collectible, of the 'evidence' variety. Because a page needed to be leaked to the DA's office, so that Mad Tony Borzaletti would realize, Danny DiStefano does not forget, and he does not make idle threats.

"A necklace," Kate clarifies. "Worn in a film by R___ F___. As we said, we may be able to provide something more tangible than cash to compensate for it."

"For example…" Keith says, choosing this an appropriate point to open the briefcase he has brought with him. "We can offer a certain rare item from her adoptive son."

And there it is. One of the D___ P_____ uniforms worn back when Gar was Beast Boy. There is, of course, an accompanying purple mask from when he was trying to hide the fact that he was green by… being purple.

There's a lot of purple in Gar's life, when you think about it. "I can guarantee you that no-one else has one of these in their possession."

That's because he totally swiped it from Gar's trunk. Gar never looked at those uniforms- and Keith has the impression that the only reason they're around is because his boyfriend hasn't gotten around to throwing them away.

DiStefano raises his eyebrows.

"That's the purple mask that kid wore, nobody was fooled except for that moron step-uncle of his that was trying to steal the money… I heard they made him wear that thing because it was so humiliating he'd stop, but no, that kid was stubborn," DiStefano says. "I got a couple mementos of hers. One of 'em I ain't gonna give up, I already put him in the will for it on account of it should go to family, but I ain't expecting to die any time soon. But I do have the wig she wore in Bride of the Fifty Foot Man, and the pearl ring from Mrs. Satan which she made with Warren Beattie an Vincent Price. It's a Mikasa pearl but I figure if it gave an oyster a stomach-ache, it's a pearl, right?"

He stands, and gestures for them to follow… the wig is on a wig-stand in the Collection Hall. It's in terrible shape, but that might be because of its treatment at the studio.

"The ring's with the necklace she wore in Jungle Goddess… that's the second re-make, but it was one of her best roles."

Kate stands when DiStefano does, following through the collection and giving her best impression of being impressed. She's at least had plenty of practice with it. Now that it's down to the trading, though, she quirks a brow at Keith when the older man isn't looking, trying to get a feel for his goals.

"Would a certain necklace be the thing you have left to Mister Logan in your will, Mister DiSteffano?" Keith asks, closing the briefcase to keep things from falling out. "Ah, yes, I have seen that movie many times. My mother and I used to…" he pauses. "Before she couldn't anymore. Anyways…"

"Now, I ain't dead yet, so let us not be prematurely examining my last will and testament," Danny DiStefano says, with a slight oleaginous chuckle. "But it could be."

He leads them up the stairs into an old-fashioned 'sitting room' that's too uncomfortable to sit in (unless you're suspended in the air by hoop dress hoops; it's a transplanted movie set from a rather odd period movie set in the Edwardian transition, and theoretically, collectible in its entirety.) One of the 'gaslights' twists under his hand and a section of wall slides back, revealing the opening of the back side of a section of bookcase that swings into a library-office…

… and there are three men, one unlocking a floor safe, while the others stand guard. There is blood on the floor - one of the invaders, the one with the bright yellow kidskin gloves, has played a ghastly game with his butterfly knife and one of the housefrau guardswomen. Next to her, her husband, the gardener, has a trowel embedded in his chest. They should not have been here today, but not everyone could be sent away without rousing SOME suspicion.

The other guarding invader smiles, and the short-barrelled shotgun in his hand makes a suspiciously quiet _BAM_ and there's a sick THWUCK as a pair of sharpened stakes embed themselves in DiStefano's liver and heart, respectively.

The cane in DiStefano's hand, pointed at the third one, the safecracker, erupts a quick gout of flame that the man fails to dodge, but there is no screaming yet. The safe door opens…

"I can't imagine the dedication that goes into collecting every detail of-" Even Kate can only blow smoke for so long, though, when confronted with some strange sort of bloody murder scene. That one's going to take a moment to process. There really isn't a moment to spare, though, because things are going increasingly insane, and her bow is back at the hotel. And that knee is still stiff. "Down!" she shouts to Keith, diving for cover behind some of the period furniture and looking for something - anything - she can use as a weapon.

Keith stands there a moment too long. Two people murder-BANG-three people murdered.

Kate shouts, though, and that brings him back to reality. He knows he needs to buy them some time, so what he does is he swings that briefcase and lets it go towards the man with the shotgun, aiming square at the face…

And then he jumps to the side, trying to find cover and a weapon.

Or a mirror.

"No witnesses!" yells Yellow-gloves Mackenzie, lunging towards where Kate is going, and "AAAA!" yells Peterman Green, the guy who is now on fire rolling on the expensive Persian carpet, and "oof" yells the guy with the double-barreled stakegun as he's clipped by the briefcase then knocked down by the falling DiStefano, and there's a peculiar SMELL and a bit of purple smoke coming off of Danny DiStefano.

Kate's dive-and-roll brings her up next to a fireplace, with standard fireplace utensils, and a large fancy metal yo-yo on a stand in a display shelf. No glass protecting it from the dust. This room is full of random collectibles. Really weird stuff.

Keith will have NO trouble finding a mirror back in the Sitting Room; there are four of the things in various places.

A poker will do just fine for Kate, who tugs one out of the stand by the fireplace to fend off Mackenzie. The first swing isn't exactly heavy on technique, but it's enough to buy her time to stand up, even if she's still favoring her right knee. "This was not in my plans for today," she huffs, taking up a more formal, fencing stance. "But, you know. I like to think I can roll with the punches."

Keith goes out one way, and then there is a flash of purple light. But no Vorpal comes back.

If there were anyone in the house sensitive to chaos magics, they would feel the effects of the Chaos Wave being released. But, as there is no such person here, what happens afterwards is bound to terrify someone.

Puppets. Lifeless marionettes. Have you seen the show Fireball XL-5? Well, Mister DiStefano did. And the late Mister DiStefano made a point of collecting. These Marionettes are in the safe room. An invisible cheshire notices them, of course, and when he comes back into the room in his invisible state, he sees them over the thugs… and grins.

Out of the safe room, Doctor Venus, the Captain, and the absolutely terrifying remains of the creature known as 'Zooney' in the show start shambling towards the thugs. They shouldn't be able to move on their own, but they do.

"Christmas has come early," Vorpal says, invisible, over Kate's shoulder as a glowing and purple bow and a set of arrows appear before her.

The smell from DeStefano is getting worse. His skin is giving off a purplish fog but remains a perfect bronze tan color. The dark stain spreading under his body isn't the right color for blood — too pastel-colored. The shooter scrambles away from it, towards the … oh god, those marionette things, with the freaky smiles and the giant heads, they're flailing in the air towards him, and one of them moans WELcomE HoOOOOmmme in a nasal howling voice, and he loses it. He vanishes with a bang from the spot he was in. Yellow-Gloves Mackenzie narrows his eyes as the girl has brought a fireplace poker to a knife fight, and she's apparently pretty good with it, because he's tried to grab it twice and she's whacked him on the hand once and jammed one of his fingers the second time, which is just stupidly impossible.

The fire is starting to really crackle as it eats into the Persian rug, and it's getting closer to the contents of the open safe… mostly papers, but there's jewelry, a few carefully mylar-wrapped comics, and a handful of jewelry, including a necklace that looks very familiar to Vorpal.

Peterman Green, having failed to completely extinguish himself rolling, is pouring water from the water bottle next to the safe, over his burning pants leg, having put out his hands. The flesh on those fingers looks grotesquely melted. The carpet still burns.

"Hands off, weirdo," Kate chides Mackenzie with another jab of the poker, breaking into a grin when the bow materializes in front of her. "Aww, and here I didn't get you anything!" she pretends to protest, dropping the poker to snatch bow and quiver out of the air. She doesn't even hesitate to fire, putting two arrows to the bow and drawing to hit Mackenzie and Green alike in the same shot. "How long do these things last?"

"Thirty seconds. A minute. Five. Depends. Chaos!" Vorpal says, as he becomes visible… and looks at DiStefano in fascinated horror. "… oh my god… he was an alien?" he says, eyes growing wide, and then he looks at where the fire is going-

"No!"

He Rabbit Holes towards the safe, punching Peterman Green with a mighty cat-punch to the face to send him towards the marionettes. He tries to make a grab for the necklace… and the comics, because if they're there, then they must be rare, and … come on, would he really let that get eaten by fire?

"Where'd the other one go? Did he grab anything? Who ARE these losers?"

"Bitch!" Mackenzie and Green shout near-simultaneously, as an arrow to the shoulder of Mackenzie means he can't use his primary knife hand, and Green was just extinguishing himself when he got the arrow to the back of the hand, breaking the water bottle. He pulls the arrow out of the hand, trailing sparks, and reaching into the safe, grabs a folder (about half the blackmail material that DiStefano had on the west coast Gentlemen of the Family Business). Just in time to be cat-punched towards Mackenzie.

"AMSCRAY!" Green yells, grabbing the man with the spotless yellow gloves, and BAM they vanish with a slightly louder noise.

Yes. Organized crime DOES employ metahumans, some of whom just make things. Like the Escape Claws, just used by our villainous trio today. Organized crime: it's Organized!

There is a disturbing metallic TINK noise from a flask on the floor near the safe — why yes, the man DID come prepared for a 'soup job' and that IS a more stable form of nitroglycerin, but it's getting warm now.

Steve Zodiac careens into the wall, and Zooney runs into the fire, "WELCOME hhhooooooommmmmeee" as it catches fire.

The body of the fallen thug-lord? Still making that smell. Probably a good thing it's face-down.

"Not really the time for questions," Kate points out to Vorpal, lowering her bow to jog - with a hitch in her step - over toward DiStefano. Or his body. That's really something they should clear up before they run. People tend to get all revenge-focused when you leave them to die. "Mister DiStefano, are you all right?"

Vorpal closes his fist around the necklace and the comics, and his ears twitch when he hears the 'tink'…

"Oh crap- Kate, he's dead… and I think something over here doesn't like the flames!"

Anvils. A rain of anvils. Yes. Purple anvils appear in the air and fall towards the flames, trying to put them out. Not the best strategy, but it's the best he's got right now.

"See if he's alive… 'cause if he's not, we've got to get the hell out of here now!"

Oh, my no, Danny DiStefano is Not All Right. As Kate gets closer, the body sort of collapses in on itself a bit, with a more emphatic and stinkier purple waft of smoke. It smells a bit like some sort of Chinese perfume. What was that stuff called again? the Mimosa flower? In the Fu Manchu movies (there were no fewer than three Fu Manchu Movie Collectible Displays on the way here) the fiendish Doctor of Crime used a special herbal blend that was called the Elixir of Life. Perhaps it was that which allowed Danny DiStefano to emulate one of his great screen inspirations? Or possibly, it was just some weird German fellow with injections of the secretions of sheep and monkeys. It's not likely that DiStefano will explain. Anvils are falling.

Normally, firefighters use water, or sand, or smother fires with some other process. Anvils, strangely, do the same thing, but with more holes in the floor. The fire is out, Zooney is crushed into an unrecognizable mass, one of DiStefano's hands is hit by an anvil and explodes (not violently) into powder, and the nitroglycerin is still angry. Still. There on top in the safe, the necklace. Glinting.

At this point the fire alarms start going off and there's yet another BAM … this one, the halon system blasting the room full of non-fire-supporting gas. Unfortunately, it's also not life-supporting if you stay in it very long.

"What in the…" Kate doesn't really have time to ponder the fine points of just what's happened to their host, though. There are explosives, and fire, and soon to be no air. None of these are good things. "Time to try that rabbit hole thing you keep telling me about?" she suggests as she runs toward Vorpal.

Vorpal gasps, and grabs the necklace, slipping it easily into one of the hidden pockets in his tights (yes, pockets, because really, not having pockets is a bad idea!) "Over here, Kate!" he calls out, coughing a little and opening the Rabbit Hole up the hallway, and then out one of the windows as fast as they can. They have to get away from here… police is going to be on the way.

"… wait a minute… "Vorpal says as he pushes Kate through the hole- "We left our names here… they're going to think we killed him!"

The other side of the hole … wherever it opens … is sure to have much fresher air than the stench in that room. Really, the stakes… which incidentally are the signature of The Vampire Killer, a serial murderer and sometime enforcer for the Mafia, and the two people cut to pieces by Yellow-Gloves Mackenzie are pretty clearly Mackenzie's work — he left little 'shark' stickers on their foreheads, which simply cinches the identification, and was the SIGNAL that was being sent to DiStefano, about the blackmail. Sadly for them, they only got half of the blackmail material. The safecracker, well, he's just a Known Associate, but a few of his tools are still there in the room. Frankly, the only thing that has the police puzzled is why the mannequins were out of place, and what caused the anvil marks all over the room.

The necklace was not mentioned in any of the somewhat sketchy lists of property; it turns out, according to the 10 O'Clock News, that a number of stolen articles were found in the Murder House. Nearly half the collectibles there perhaps.

"They're going to know we're dead if we don't get out of here," Kate counters, bracing herself before diving through the hole. Don't panic, don't panic, don't panic…

And when they emerge… well, it's fresh air.

Vorpal doesn't stop the rabbit hole until they are outside and can get to their rental car. He doesn't ask- he jumps into the driver's seat and floors it after pulling Kate in, leaving behind dust and burning rubber.

=====LATER======

Keith, now back in his human shape, turns off the television after watching the news. He has been playing with the necklace in his hand during the report, before pocketing it again and sighing a little.

"So… I guess he was involved with the Mafia and we walked in just in time for a hit. So, what do we do, Katie?" he says, looking at his stark-pad. He's been considering contacting Oracle, since they know the real reason for this trip. But he's afraid of getting the 'You got into trouble again?' lecture.

"Two choices," Kate answers, adjusting the ice pack on her knee, leg stretched out across the couch. "Either we can keep quiet and let it be, decide that what criminals do to each other isn't any of our business. Or we go over to the police station and give them a report. Which, technically, should probably include handing over your swag there."

The stolen comics… they glisten in their mylar, there on the shelf… 1961 - The Astonishing Three #1 … 1941 - Timelost Comics Presents General USA Comics … 1939 - Overman - the complete story of the daring exploits of the one and only Overman, 64 pages, all color.

There's a pinging noise from Vorpal's StarkPad. A message appears.

GARF — Hey, how goes it, you guys get the dress and the suit? You gonna make the 10pm train like you said?

Keith takes out the necklace again and looks at it after Kate speaks, pondering for some time before saying "No." He brushes his red hair out of his eyes, "No. I don't care how this guy got the necklace. This rightfully belonged to R___. When she died, Gar was cheated out of his inheritance by the guy who should have been watching out for him, that much I know-" because a fanboy is a fanboy, and there are things you keep track of. "And that is probably when this necklace was sold. This belongs with the man I love." He says, putting the necklace down on… well, the ugliest Christmas sweater that the world has ever seen. It is red, with little green animals with googly eyes. He saw it at one of the shops in the station and he knew, he just knew how he was going to use it.

And then he gets the message "Oh crap, Kate, we forgot the dress…" Keith mutters. "He's going to want to see it, you know. We need to get you a fancy dress… at, like, Seven A.M. or something…" Keith says after showing the message to Kate. He slides his finger over the screen and types:

VORP: We kind of got delayed by traffic, but we'll catch the 10 AM train instead. I'll be home soon. Everything's ok? Love ya

"Yeah… we need to get you a dress, pronto."

"Oh, Keith," Kate smirks, stretching carefully. "It's cute how you think that's something that takes time. Or relies on business hours," she chuckles. "Don't worry, we'll get one. And it'll look awesome. And then I'll have to figure out what I'm wearing it to."

In Hollywood, you can get a ball gown or a fancy dress at 7AM, if you know the right places and the right people. Getting TO the right places and the right people, perhaps more of a challenge. Getting from there to the train station by 10AM? Good luck with that.

Gar Logan, in New York, explains to a confused student the difference between a cnidarian and a ctenophora. Which, really, only matters to the cnidarians and the ctenophora.


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