2007-05-08: Science and the Arts


Desmond_icon.gif Gene_icon.gif Karoliina_icon.gif Octavia_icon.gif


A few chance meetings in Central Park have Gene engaging in an awkward encounter with Octavia and Desmond being invited to audition for a role in Karoliina's theater.

Date It Happened: May 8th, 2007

Science and the Arts

Central Park

People in the park will likely hear the music before they see Gene. The Training Theme from Rocky blares in the dusk air, giving Gene the motivation to do his power walk routine. At first, it was supposed to be a jogging regiment, but his asthma and other factors made that a short distance. Figuring he must walk before he can sprint, Gene goes through the park, equipped with a black sleeveless t-shirt which has the Triforce on it. Black sweatpants go with the shirt and run down running shoes complete the ensemble.

Of course, Gene might need money to buy some bottled water or dinner for a foxy lady he seduces (one is much more likely than the other, can you guess which). For that, he has a fanny pack which is firmly clipped and safety pinned to his shirt, hopefully enough to ensure no one tries to take his stuff.

Providing the music and the moral support is Gene's famed companion, R2-D2, which follows along effortlessly.

There is someone actually jogging on the path that Gene and R2-D2 are on. Karofiina has her Ipod in her ears and she's humming along with it, head down as she moves. She decked in a pair od Danskin jogging shorts and a soft powder blue tight tank top. Her Ipod is strapped to one forearm, but as the Rocky music blares over her sounds, she slows down and slips the earbuds from her ears, looking around before spotting Gene and R2-D2. She knows him! She continues jogging towards him.

A nice relaxing stroll through Central Park is just the way to go on a fine Spring day. Unfortunately, this stroll isn't promising to be very relaxing. Desmond Cusick sits on a bench not far up the path from where Gene and Karoliina are, a briefcase placed next to him and a few papers on his lap. He's dressed in an expensive black suit with no tie, and though the man is half-deaf, he still can't escape the blaring training music coming from that thing down the way. With a noticeable frown, he glances up, peering over at the pair (trio?) with no attempts to mask his contempt. Ugh.

Jogging up the path from the opposite direction of Karoliina and Gene/R2D2, is Doctor Cutler. The good doctor does put up a good fight at battling off aging, it's the middle-aged womanly thing to do after all. She's currently dressed up in a pair of enormously baggy gray sweatpants and what appears to be a black/purple unitard. Non-descript headphones are placed on her head, their cords leading back to what looks like a worthless old-school Walkman. Tape cassette Walkman.

The music draws a lady to him, Desmond, so clearly Gene has one this round for your suit has drawn none! Muahahahahahahaha Actually the music didn't have too much to do with it. Still, as Karoliina begins to close the gap, Gene notices her. He slows to a normal walk, giving his robot companion the firm order of "Slow down, music fifty". The music goes down to two-thirds of what it once was. "Hey, Karoliina, didn't expect to see you here," Gene offers as he pulls out small washcloth from his fanny pack to wipe the sweat from his brow.

It was the music, at first. Really. Karoliina grins when she notes it really is Gene, and the enthusiastic musician draws the man in for a hug. "I didn't expect to see either of you out here! Hey, R2." She says, greeting the droid. "Trying to run, Gene, or just enjoying your music? I've got some of my own." Octavia is noticed as the woman moves to the side, out of her way.

Thank God for small favors. Desmond's attention goes back to his papers once the R2 unit lowers its volume. If he does recognize Karoliina from any performances or parties or anything of the sort, he doesn't show it — but this isn't surprising to anyone who knows him. Octavia and Gene are passed over in a similar manner as just Somethings In The Background.

Karoliina is moving away rather pre-emptively. Octavia is only just nearing Desmond's location and slowing from her jaunty jog to produce a water bottle from the web belt holding up her sweatpants. The good doctor finally comes to a stop more or less in front of Desmond, arches her back, and leans her head back to boot while she guzzles some water.
Given that the bottle isn't perspiring, it's a good guess that she isn't swilling ice water. All the better to avoid gastric cramping.

R2-D2 gives a couple of whistles, one long and one short, as the singer speaks to it.

Gene is hugged, only returning it with one loose hand, as if worried about getting Karliina all hot and sweaty. Its owner rubs the back of his neck. Thankfully, his cheeks are already red from exercise so the chagrin is harder to notice. "Just getting a little light exercise. Nothing TOO much since I just got off of work, know what I mean?" He doesn't notice Octavia yet, which may or may not be a good thing.

Karoliina beams at R2. "See, I knew it." She says. What she knew, who knows. "Meh. I suppose I do. Only getting in more work for me is singing, and, la la la la la la~" She sings that last part - "It's not something I do on my runs, as it is."

It's reflex that causes Desmond to look up when Octavia stops right in front of him, and it's hormones that cause him to give her a quick glance-up. Not bad for an older woman, really. His face remains mostly expressionless and, after several seconds longer than he really ought to be looking at a stranger, he returns his attention to his papers. The singing down the way doesn't get his attention. He really must have noted who Karoliina was previously.

In spite of herself, Octavia can't help but bask in the ogling that Desmond gives her. She plays the part of the ignorant jogger, but she's clearly stopped chugging water well before Desmond finishes giving her the once over, but she holds the drinking pose for a while yet, several seconds after his gaze returns to his papers.
She promptly caps the bottle and slides it back into the bottle sheath behind her back. The doctor adjusts her sweaty ponytail quickly and promptly starts jogging in position to get her heart-rate back up and to get her muscles back up to speed before she starts jogging down the path again.

"You mean all singers don't practice their stuff while running in the middle of the park? I guess the Great Muppet Caper has lied to me yet again," the young inventor offers with a small smirk. Pulling out a water from his fanny pack, he offers it toward Karoliina. It's ice cold, Gene likely not experience in proper fitness protocols.

Karoliina takes the water, unscrews the cap, and promptly dumps it on her head, shivering at the shock of it. Okay, that might not be proper fitness protocools, but it helps with the heat and the sweat as she wipes at her face. "You actually listened to the Great Muppet CapeR? You'd be as bad as him, up there." She motions to the oogling Desmond. "But at least he has taste for the wise women."

It wasn't anyone's wisdom that Desmond was ogling. The corners of his lips have curved upward just the slightest bit, having noted Octavia's relishing, but his gaze remains on the papers until after she's passed on by. After a few moments, he straightens the papers and places them neatly into his briefcase, which is then closed and locked. The Broadway star stands, briefcase in-hand, and starts to move toward the small group at a leisurely pace. His half-deafness serves Karoliina well, as he doesn't pick up on her little remark.

"My mother enjoyed that movie." Gene states that in a manner like it made it God-like. Giving a small smile, he looks toward Desmon as he is mentioned before looking back toward Karoliina. "So, what's new with you?"

Octavia continues jogging along her way, moving toward Gene, R2, and Karoliina now. Not necessarily in that order, presumably Noisy von MusicCan is the first in line with Karoliina and Gene in some other order following that. The doctor continues jogging along, let's see if Gene notices her shall we?

Karoliina looks around as Desmond stands up, and the woman wipes at her eyes for a minute, before the recognition hits in her eyes, and she smiles a tGene. "I'm good, give me a minute here, will you?" She moves around R2-D2 and towards Descmond, and her singing voice raises to reach his ears, deaf or not. "In sleep he sang to me, in dreams he came… that voice which calls to me …" She continues the beginnig to the song, staring at him, a /huge/ smile on her face.

Whether or not Gene notices Octavia, Desmond is certainly noticing — but his notice is soon pulled toward Karoliina when she approaches him singing. He seems taken aback at first, perhaps even a little concerned. What is this, an insane fan? Oh, wait, fans. He puts on a polite, readily amused smile, but this woman isn't a fan. No, he's seen her around before in the actors circle, at the very least. He doesn't make a similar musical response, but he does slow his pace with the intent of stopping once they're in the same proximity.

An unintended side-effect, however morale-boosting it may be, for Octavia is Desmond continuing to notice her. As she continues to jog along, and past the singing actress, Octavia lets an amused smirk spread across her lips. For the moment, she is entirely wrapped up in whatever music is playing in her headphones and the knowledge that, for a time, someone as markedly handsome as Desmond, was eyeing her…
Well, that and the endorphins pumping through her system. Those blessed hormones are certainly improving her mood right now.

Octavia isn't noticed at first, but other people give him the clues. First, Karoliina sings to Desmond, who took his gaze off someone else. Who was that person? Octavia. Cue dramatic music chord. Well, R2-D2 has gone from playing the Training music to Eye of the Tiger. It'll have to do.

Gene is silent right now, as no one else is talking and his conversation partner randomly broke out into song. Hopefully, Karoliina isn't a Disney Princess or he might find himself stuck in a musical number. And Gene dancing in front of so many people might be dangerous. For who? You, the viewer, decide.

Karoliina has not noticed Ocativa yet. Whether this is good or bad, the woman stops where she's at, eyes narrowed, then she crosses her arms under her chest as she drops the las tnote, eyes twinkling. "The Demon Barber of Fleet Street. A Phantom to my Christine. Forgive me if I am wrong, but you have /got/ to be Desmond Cusick, or I really /am/ the baby in the Broadway circles.

Desmond's smile breaks into a grin at that and he comes to a halt as well. "I am Desmond Cusick," he responds with a small nod. "Forgive me, but my memory is a little sketchy. Whom do I have the honor of addressing?" The last is accompanied by a hand extended toward Karoliina and a very charming smile.

In a few moments' time, Octavia will have jogged right past Gene and his pet R2 unit. She seems blithely unaware until after she's passed him. A moment, perhaps a moment and a half, later she jogs in reverse to jog in place in front of Gene. She looks at him and then turns her gaze toward R2D2.
In case you were not aware, R2D2 gets all the ladies. He is like the robot mac daddy of all mac daddies. Octavia is simply his latest victim. After a few moments of jogging in place and gawking in awe, Doctor Cutler stops jogging in place and drops to a crouch, intently inspecting the R2 unit like an artiste inspecting a new masterpiece of one of the great masters.

Indeed, R2-D2 is apparently the sexy devil. Few ladies have been able to resist him so far if they notice him. Sadly, Gene has not learned how to harness this power for himself, the droid only allow him to converse with most girls before they walk away. Of course, Octavia isn't exactly a girl he's interested. While not ugly, she is an expert in science, which means she could and would be interested in Gene's work. Work he likes to keep on the downlow as much as he can. That in mind, Gene is distracted with the doctor's apparance to put too much into the fellow muscial stars meeting one another.

With his master watching over him, R2 mere gives a quizzical set of chirps as Octavia gets within a foot, clearly having sensors. There seems to be hinges on R2, all of them in the same places as in the movies, Gene apparently trying to make it a 'true' tribute as much as possible.

Karoliina gives Gene an apologetic look. Poor dude. R2-D2 always gets the ladies. It's why Karoliina herself first talked to the man, so it's not like she should be gloating or anything, but she still shrugs a bit, before her attentions caught by Desmond. "Karoliina Hanson, Christine, Majestic's Theater version of The Phantom of The Opera." She says, taking the hand offered graciously. "A pleasure. I never thought to meet you in person."

Karoliina's hand is given a firm, but very gentle shake, and Desmond's smile only grows. "Ah, the Majestic. I've heard of it. You do good work there, I'm told." He releases her hand with just the faintest hint of a squeeze that one does not normally give when disengaging from a handshake. "It is a pleasure to make your acquaintance, Karoliina." A pleasure indeed. As Gene is fairly disinterested in the pair of musical stars, Desmond is equally disinterested in the two scientists. Nope. He's a bit distracted.

Octavia tilts her head at R2-D2's beeping. She blinks a few times, running a few fingers lightly over the surface of the droid before looking up at Gene. She looks impressed; something tells the young inventor that Octavia is not likely to give that sort of expression out willy-nilly.
"Where on earth did you come across such a wonderfully detailed replica? It's magnificent and impressively up-to-date with robotics technology. This must have cost a fortune."

"I made it. There is a group online called the R2 Builders. They make units like this all the time, so I figured I'd give it a shot." Of course, he made a lot of improvements on the design, but that's all hidden. "When I got out of high school, I figured I didn't need a car, so I asked for money to do this. Have a few wealthy relatives and so… here we are. The stuff isn't too advanced, mostly used slightly modified sensors. You can get those from Lego these days." It's all true what he says, but he leaves out a bit here and there. He modified the equipement himself to be cutting edge, but she doesn't need to know. "Love Mindstorms' stuff. Lego should put out more for the younger kids."

the droid is made from a steel alloy, appearing to be pretty darn durable. Maybe it was make from a car hull or the like. The thick and glossy paint that covered the robot makes it hard to tell for sure.

Chucking, Karoliina uses that same hand to smooth her hair back a bit. "Hmmm. It's always a pleasure to meet yours. Are you touring with any shows in town, or are you just around, scoping? Our Phantom is leaving…" She says, trailing off after that.

"I am not touring as yet. I just purchased a theater myself in the district and have been concentrating on that lately." Desmond's smile remains, and his expression becomes one of piqued interest at the little dangled carrot. "Is he? That is quite a pity." But he knows a hook when he sees one, and he grins a little. "You know, Phantom was one of my favorite roles." Two can play this game.

"True enough, but the response time on the sensors is still amazing. Did you use the straight software specs or something you found on the internet or what?"
Octavia is enthralled. That is all that needs be said on the matter. She is carefully inspecting the robot companion/mac daddy as much as she is looking up at Gene for answers to her questions.

Gene nods. "Yeah, there's some stuff online, you have to fangle with the rest though," Gene offers. "There are forums and stuff like that to help people new to it though. If you're interested, check it out." Gene has no problem pointing Octavia there, more so considering that he's never been posted or linked up there. He appears ready to go on, but suddenly his watch beeps a couple of times. "Well, looks like I really need to get going. But we can talk more later if you want, I guess," Gene offers, glad that he has a meeting to get to. It's one thing when an average person is interested. When someone who's big into science is… Yeah, danger, Will Robinson.

Looking to Karoliina, he calls out a simple, "I've got to get going, Karol, but I'll see you around?" He nods to the doctor before giving his companion a simple command. "Come on, Artoo, we've got to get going." With a response of 'Beeeeooooo Geerp grep', the Astrodroid follows behind.

Karoliina hmmms. "I thought I had heard about that. Glad to see the theater is getting started back up again, really." She explains, calmly. Then she smiles back, that old Broadway game getting started. "Christine will always be my favorite, but it's so hard to find a good enough actor to back her up with a strong baritone for the Phantom…" She says softly.
Karoliina adds on: "I'll see you around Gene! I'll call, or something!" She waves at him.

When the scientist is bid a farewell, Desmond's gaze goes briefly to Gene, to whom he offers just the faintest of smiles — the sort that says, "I don't know you, but this person I'm talking to you said goodbye to you, so I'm being polite". That out of the way, his attention is once again affixed on Karoliina. "Mm, it's hard to find good vocalists these days," he sympathizes with a nod. Then, as though they weren't just courting the idea, he perks up as though struck with a sudden thought. "You know, if you have a spot open, I would certainly love to get back into the mask and cape. Perhaps I can come by and audition sometime?"

"Have a good evening, Gene," replies Octavia. Yeah. She remembers him from Starbucks. Or, at least, she remembers his name. She might not really recall where she met him before, just that he keeps having to disappear mid-conversation. Octavia looks a bit sad to see R2 and Gene go though. She was rather enjoying herself.

Karoliina mmms. "It is. Most of them doesn't have the classical training we're looking for, or they are so raw and unexperinced being on stage would break them." She nods back. Then at his perk, her smile grows wider, and her hands clap together. "Oh that would be wonderful, Desmond!" She chirps. "I'm sure they would love to see you."

Desmond grins again. "I hope so," he chuckles, though the modesty is, well, nonexistent. He /knows/ so. "When are you auditioning?" And already he's digging around in his pocket for his Palm pilot. Scheduling is serious business.

Octavia, thus conversation-partnerless and coming down from her endorphin rush, stands up straight again. She jogs in place for about a minute, getting her heart rate up and re-warming her muscles. She promptly takes off again, jogging away as cheerfully as she can.

Karoliina says compeltely innocently: "May Ninth, from Three PM promptly to Give-thirty PM that night. Auditions will only be given to those with at least two shows behind their belt, and a resume and no criminal background." Needless to say, Desmond will be the only one there.

And well does he seem to know it. Desmond sets down his briefcase in order to free up both hands. The Palm pilot's stylus comes out and he pokes at the screen a few times, then jots something down on it. All the while, his smile starts to grow. "I will be there, then," he states with finality, finishing his business on the electronic device and tucking it away in his pocket again. "Though you never know about the criminal background." He's joking, of course; he doesn't even have any parking tickets, as he doesn't drive.

Karoliina chuckles wryly. She watches Desmond, and she grins. "Good. I'll hold you too it. I'm one of the judges." She grins at him, totally not phased at the whole judges-being-influenced thing. Then she rolls her eyes. "Oh please. You, a criminal? Pinch me, I'm Mrs. Lovitt!"

Desmond picks up the suitcase again, his smile breaking into a grin. "Mrs. Lovett," he breaks into song, though it's quiet and not meant to draw attention to himself nor to Karoliina, "what a charming notion, eminently practical and yet appropriate as always!" And as he does so, he slides up smoothly beside Karoliina, moving in perhaps a little too close, but it might have been an accident. He lingers a moment before stepping back and away again, as though to move past her. "Until tomorrow then, Karoliina." The last is, of course, spoken, not sung.

Karoliina joins him on the second line, "How I did without you all these years Ill never know! How delectable! Also undetectable - " She holds the last line when he comes up, and she turns into him, flashing a smile a the almost-spot on Christine/Phantom stage pose before she too steps back. "I shall see you of course, Desmond."

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