Regal Square, Prince-Edfield_
"They don't pay us, yeah..." Meifeng said, as she briefly looked at her fingertips, she appeared to be uninterested. "... But, remember, we gotta look good. And you can't put a price on that."
She laughed for a moment, before she took a quick look around... God, these events felt so empty without Cindy around. Well, a lot of things felt empty without Cindy, but after the death of Lihua, she couldn't stop for a moment to even appreciate these moments. She was so distant to her fellow RAVENS, she clenched her fist for a moment as the sheer frustration of it all got to her. But, then she realized what she was doing, then caught herself. She turned to face Reed, and kept smiling.
"Y'know, I'm going to get the weirdest-ass carnival food I can find, then we can split it!" Meifeng said, as she took steps towards the door. She heard of things like donut burgers, and fried butter balls (Yuck!), and wanted to try them. If that was the pinnacle of All-American cuisine, then she was going to try it. "And by the time I go see Lijuan, I've already vomited it all out. 'Kay? Bye!"
She was already out the door, and left a confused Reed questioning what Meifeng was even talking about.
Meifeng just decided to get some fresh air, as she marched through the stalls. Honestly, she also didn't want to deal with Maximilian Cornell, especially when it came to mind. She sighed as she walked. The situation with him was... complicated. Probably something that she needed to sit down, and have a talk over (And someone like Quentin or Reed needed to be the moderator).
Actually, Meifeng was going to go see Lijuan first. It wouldn't hurt, since the Lius are doing such a good job taking care of the youngest Zhao.
Audrey spotted the Chinese lady called Meifeng exiting the big building and strode towards her. Her hands were in her pockets, the cap on her head low as she walked in step with Meifeng. She raised her head and acknowledged her with a nod
"Agent Meifeng. It has been a while, babushka. Not since Verthaven have we seen each other. I hope you are well."
To say that the mix of emotions within her was confusing would be an understatement. On one hand, she was grateful to the government forces for the evacuation effort and for keeping the monsters of the Disaster at bay. Indirectly she owed her life to them. On the other, the loss of her friends weighed heavily on her heart. She wanted to give agent Meifeng a hug, then sock her in the face for abandoning those she considered near family.
At first, Meifeng was annoyed that somebody was interrupting her.
Normally, she would had ducked into a the crowd, and never mention any of it again. But, the mere mention of Verthaven... it made her stop on one foot, and turn around. She faced the stranger with a weary look in her eyes, and looked her up and down. She was big, but Meifeng wasn't intimidated. It wasn't about size, but how you used it. The woman was fairly old... Meifeng couldn't, for the life of her, recognize this weird woman.
"Sorry, ma'am," Meifeng tipped her ballcap, "Verthaven was ten years ago... you're gonna have to jog my memory."
With a raised hand, Audrey gathered the smoke from her cigarette into her palm and swirled it into a ball, no subtle use of her powers but small enough to not attract attention. The stream of smoke from the burning cigarette tip wove its way round her fingers and balled into her palm, before she released it into the air in a puff.
"Ten years ago, a NEST agent arrested two young men. Marcus Rowland and John Cole Sykes. They helped the agency fight the Hands of Science. I considered them my family in Verthaven. But now, they're dead. I'm all that's left of that little home I had there. In part, I have you to thank for, at least, helping the survivors out of the city."
This woman was feeding her a sob story while talking about something that Meifeng had no part of (the NEST part). She was a dumbass teenager back then, she had no part of NEST or anything that happened. In addition, this broad talked to her like she knew her! She probably only saw her on TV and thought that she was some omniscient God that had a part in all things RAVEN. She only rolled her eyes.
"Sorry, lady," Meifeng said, as she stared at the woman with a look of contempt. "But, you're barking up the wrong tree. I was just eighteen when Verthaven went down. I had nothing to do with NEST, or it's internal affairs."
That wasn't true.... when the shield went up, she was considered a defacto member of NEST during their attempts to get the hell out of there. She had no idea about Marcus, or John Sykes... while many of NEST activities were declassified, Meifeng just had better things to do (Like figure out just what the high hell just happened).
"And I guess..." Meifeng shrugged "... You're welcome?
"Not you? Hmm...must've been a young lady that looked just like you...the resemblance is uncanny, miss. Did you have any older siblings who were in NEST?"
A part of Meifeng got defensive the moment when she finally realized just who she was talking about (and another part of her wanted her to get her eyes checked).
"I know just who you're talking about;" Meifeng started off. "... My mother."
"Your mother...well she was an exceptional agent, miss."
Audrey sighed. Her saviour was this young lady's mother. A sore point for her. The whole situation became rather awkward, but she could sympathise with Meifeng; after all, she too was a mother. At the back of her mind, she wondered how her daughter was doing. Probably better than she was, drifting between jobs and friends and homes. But...she couldn't imagine a world where she was missing from her daughter's life. She couldn't imagine the phone call that would ensue if she'd died in Verthaven. The tears that'd inevitably follow. She could only imagine what it was like for her.
A hand dove into her back pocket and produced a worn brown leather wallet. From within one of its folds, she pulled a dog-eared business card for her cafe. With a hand, she gave it to Meifeng.
"I'm sorry, agent Meifeng. I didn't know, but I owe your mother my life. Come by my cafe if you're looking for a less...expensive place to eat. For you, on the house. It's the least I can do to honour your mother."
The way she speaks implies that she knows Lihua's dead... maybe I should keep an eye on her. Meifeng thought to herself as she stared the woman down. She briefly looked at the card she received, and raised an eyebrow. She was going to head there later, after work was over.
"Yeah, I'll swing by, Miss..." Meifeng tried to get her name.
"Audrey Novalik. But everyone calls me Aura."
I'll be sure to look up that name, later.
Meifeng nodded her head.
"I just have much work to do here," Meifeng said as she started to walk away. Reed was probably wondering what in the hell she was doing if she took this long... maybe she'd get Reed that nasty food she wanted to, then go find Lijuan.
That girl needed whatever love and support she could get after Lihua's death...
"I shall leave you be then, agent. Come visit me in my café if you have the time."
With a tip of her cap, Audrey vanished into the crowd, the only thing visible being the glow of her cigarette, before that too melded into the lights of street lamps and phones. Her work here, apart from nabbing one more greasy chili dog, was done.