Just Keep Swimming

Dallas World Aquarium

An old warehouse in the historic West End, the Dallas World Aquarium is home to a unique display of flora and fauna from five continents. A 200 foot ramp lined with the plants and animals representative to Dallas start off the adventure before one even steps foot in the building.

The exhibits start with entrance into an indoor rainforest at treetop level, immersing guests in a canopy amidst scores of brilliantly colored tropical birds. Water splashes onto rocks from a tall waterfall that cascades down into a pond holding exotic fish. Thick glass panels form one side of the pond down below, making it easy for visitors to enjoy the colorful swimmers. As the walkway descends through the greenery, woodpeckers, pheasants and a few smaller birds can be seen milling about upon the forest floor. Another path can be found here, where visitors usually enjoy a leisurely stroll before heading to other exhibits.

The Aquarium portion contains a variety of sea-life from different locales. From humphead wrasse and pez chancho in the Pacific, lumpsuckers, and porgy in the Atlantic, and the antarctic krill and orange footed sea cucumbers of the Polar Regions, the aquarium seems to have it all.

The aquarium is one of the last places one would think to find Chloe Cornett. Normally, her days are spent at the library, or sleeping. Today, she's gotten up too early to head to the estate of her beloved vampire, and has the afternoon off.

Children run through the corridors, staring at fish, squealing at the dolphins, and having far too much fun with the stingray petting pool.

Through it all, Chloe just sits on a bench away from the general din. Her eyes focused on the tank as she tries to force out the voices in her mind and give herself a sense of ease.

Rachel McKendrick strolls casually along the tank-lined causeway, picking some at a bag of chips held loosely in one hand. In no hurry, she's as much watching the people that wander by, looking at the fish, as she is at the fish herself. She has a pensive expression on her face that doesn't so much warn others away as it gives her more of a speculative look. Her lips purse as something in one of the tanks draws her. She moves towards it, taking up a casual stance a couple of yards away from the meditative woman. Her fingers slide into the foil sack, drawing out a chip and popping it lightly into her mouth. It cruches quite satisfactorily.

Stretching her legs out, she cocks her head toward a group of the children and then sighs. It is, perhaps, one regret that she has about her recent decision to join the ranks of those who spend their days slumbering and their nights living.

"The tank," Chloe says quietly, attempting to not startle the other, "is generally more interesting when a diver is present. I've been watching it for the last hour, and it seems to be one rather boring fish swimming about in a circle." The same fish, over and over.

The general feeling of unease is picked up upon, and really, the red-haired telepath is just trying to help put the other woman a little more at ease at the moment. Her good deed for the day.

Rachel's head turns at the sound of the voice speaking generally. As she identifies the woman, she gives a polite smile, now recognizing the speaker was, in fact, addressing her. "Boring's good, once in a while," she says. Her accent is blunted, northern. Probably New York, if the accents on the tv are to be believed, though it's hard to say for sure which borough. Still, it just about screams 'non-Texan', not that she minds that in the least. Still, her head cants some. "And it can't be all that boring, if you've been watching it for an hour."

"I like focusing my mind on simplistic things sometimes," Chloe says with a gentle chuckle. "It allows my thoughts to flow freely and not be distracted by my… surroundings." No longer does she point to her temple and make the generally assumed symbol for crazy. "Though I really suggest that if you're a tourist, you take a look at the rainforest area. It's quite beautiful, even with all the creepy crawlies that seem to like to call it home."

Rachel's smile turns a trifle wry and she gives a wry chuckles. "I'll check it out," she says. She's only a tourist insofar as she's decided to visit a city attraction for the afternoon. But, her life's here in the city, now. So, the thought the label's somewhat ill-placed does cross her mind. But, she doesn't give it voice. The woman's a stranger; strangers don't need to know all her business. Instead, she pops another chip into her mouth, sucks the salt out of it, and swallows. "Still, this seems like a good place to gain a little focus. We can all use a little of that sometimes, don't you think?"

"Ahhh, not a tourist then," Chloe says with a shake of her head. "Apologies, I assumed due to the accent and all…" Shrugging, she watches the fish that swims around the tank again. Her eyes are wholly focused on the fish, and she nods. "Everyone could use a little more focus these days, I think. The world is too fast-paced sometimes to actually enjoy the peace and quiet when it's offered to us."

Rachel shakes her head now. "No. Not a tourist," she admits. "Moved down a few weeks ago." She chuckles lightly, now. "I'd love to say I came down for the slower, southern style of life, but," her smile turns lopsided, "I think that's a myth." She certainly hasn't seen it yet, in any case. "Have you lived in Dallas long, yourself?" It's the polite way of asking if her conversation companion is a native to the city or just the state. In NYC, the locals are always proud to talk about their City. How different is it in Dallas? "Any places you'd recommend?"

Chloe is silent as she listens to the older woman, her voice when she finally speaks, taking on more of a Texan drawl. "Born and raised. Been in Dallas my entire life." As boring as that sounds. She doesn't seem to be all that proud of her city, but then again she's not really focusing on that at the moment. "I guess that all depends on your general likes. There is a really nice sushi restaurant not far, I'd generally say to avoid a lot of the more touristy destinations. A lot are a waste of money, and you've likely seen it all in… I'm guessing New York? New Jersey?" She really could pry, but she's going based off of accent here.

"New York," Rachel says quickly. Not Jersey. The distinction's important. And, indeed, her voice doesn't quite have the same nasally tones as Jersey… But, then, in the first place, an outsider wouldn't necessarily know that and, in the second… well, likely as not only a Canadian would actually think to call her accent nasally, and only since it lacks the crisp, round, northern tones from across the boarder — or the CNN studios in Lower Manhattan. "Yeah. Well, y'know, I'm always looking for interesting spots. I'd like to get to know this a whole lot better than I currently do." Which is why at least half her off hours, these days, are spent exploring various neighborhoods. The rest are with her mother. "Tourist spots or not."

"Tourist spots, especially at this time of year, are unusually busy and not very cost effective. The only place I'd suggest that's worth the money is the Historic Village." Chloe dips a hand into her purse and pulls out a small notebook. A few place names, along with very general directions are jotted down in the silence and she starts to nibble on the end of her pen. "I'd suggest," she says, extracting the pen from her mouth, "that you do one touristy thing that would teach you the generalities of the entire city." The name and number of the double-decker bus company is jotted down. "City-wide tour and you'll likely see some places you'll want to head to afterward."

Rachel reaches out to take the paper from the woman. She pauses infinitesimally as her fingertips close on the sheaf, but after that subconscious and entirely needless moment of bracing, her psyche relaxes and she give a light nod and a warm smile in response. "Hey, that's great. Thanks," she says, scanning the list quickly. Who said New Yorkers were always stand-offish? In any case, the bus company is noted. That's actually a really good idea. "I'll definitely check out the bus tour." It's a good overview. She does note, however, how the woman's attention seems particularly fixated on the fish, when she's not writing the list. Something about the behavior niggles in the back of her psychologist's brain, but doesn't click into place with any sort of resounding gong. It just kinda flutters there, elusive and curious, just beyond reach. She files it a way under 'strange traits observed in strangers', and lets it go.

There are many strange traits that Chloe possesses. Her strange desire to monitor the behavior of the fish is the least of them, though the most prevalent at the moment. "You're welcome," she offers quite cheerfully, though the mental sigh of relief from the woman is quite noted. "I really suggest it. It highlights everything the city has to offer and you'll get a feel for everything that way. I'm not sure if they still do stops and starts, but I think they let you out around White Rock Lake to wander around." Obviously the red-head took the tour once as a lark.

"White Rock Lake," Rachel echoes. "Yeah, I heard of that place. Haven't been there, yet." Though the place does ring a bell. Something about an attack in one of the case files she was looking at the other day. Case was still open, but just another one on a long list and one largely considered low-priority for her personally. Perp was said to be an animal of the four-legged variety, rather than the two she usually had to size up. "Think I heard somewhere it's a great place for hiking and whatnot." She's not really what you'd call an 'outdoorswoman'. That's not to say she's some sort of homebody; it just means she's not inclined to spend a weekend out in the bush just for the helluvit.

"It's definitely not meant for swimming, but there are some beautiful trails there, as well as fishing and other stuff, I guess." Chloe mostly hits up the parks with the swings, but she's an oddball. "There are a lot of parks in the area though if you're looking for different things to do. Glencoe Park has paddle boats and the like, if that's your thing. I guess I'm more of a city girl though, and I avoid a lot of the outdoorsy stuff. If you swing by the library, I can likely get you some hiking maps though."

Rachel's head cants some as she regards the other woman. Her smile warms. "You're a librarian? I may do that." Never a bad thing to be on friendly terms with a librarian, actually. Especially one that has access to maps and, potentially, other obscure information about the city. Rachel's learned that the hard way a time or two. Thus, internally emboldened by the fact her earlier contact in with the woman didn't result in even the tiniest tension headache, she now extends a hand to her. "Name's Rachel McKendrick. Nice to meet you, Miss…?" Obviously, she wants a return introduction.

That is definitely something that Chloe will brag about. Beyond Doris, she's likely the best librarian in Dallas. Her ability to recite the card catalog from memory is unnerving. "I am, and the building is actually quite extraordinary in itself. It's the other place that is really great for focus in the city." At least in her opinion. Taking the hand, she gives it a shake. "Cornett. Chloe Cornett," she offers cheerfully, unaware that her actual name may ring bells in the woman's mind in regards to several wolf attacks in the city.

Rachel accepts the telepath's hand easily, though, with the touch, the faint bell ringing in the back of her skull about the name may just about be audible. Still, the profiler's outside expression doesn't change, other than to warm at the other woman's evident enthusiasm for her work. "Nice to meet you, Miss Cornett," she says. Sure, the name rings a bell, but the details of the case are a little fuzzy. Again, it's not like she's been asked to profile a wolf. And, as much as she's stationed at the Dallas PD precinct as a cooperative service to them, she's still FBI… still got federal priorities sucking up good portions of her day. And it's not like her colleagues — on either side of the jurisdictional lines — will let her forget it, either. "So, you're at the central branch?" She's assuming so, since the building is described as so 'extraordinary'. "Which area's your specialty?"

An eyebrow quirks up at the woman, but she doesn't say a word about where the other woman may have heard of her. She is getting quite good at not spouting off everything that she hears. "Pleasure to meet'cha too, Ms. McKendrick." As she pulls her hand away, she turns back to stare at the swimming fish. Boring though it is, there's something calm about watching the repetitive motion. "All of it," she muses cheerfully. "Though if I had to choose a singular section to call my own, it would be anything involving History."

"History. Really?" Rachel smiles at that. Actually, she'd kinda been hoping the woman would say History. That suggests a familiarity with whatever archives might be there. And, really, the profiler's learned the value of a good working familiarity with municipal archives — whether they're at the library, a university, or some municipal records office. She's not actually inclined to be mercenary, but… let's face it, with very little else to go on, she's totally willing to base a new friendship (okay, acquaintancy, really) on such 'professional' grounds… though her inquiries are as likely to be personally motivated as professionally, that's sure enough. Of course, that's all supposing that the little bell that rang at the base of her skull doesn't explode into a full klaxon the next time she picks up a file at work. But, that's just all part of life, as far as Rachel's concerned. "Well, don't be surprised if you see me around once in a while, then. I can sometimes be a bit of a history buff. Usually about local histories, stuff like that, rather than the world wars or anything, but still. Curiosity killed the cat, right? But, satisfaction brought it back."

"I love history. There is quite a bit to be learned in it, even if one just focuses on the more recent history rather than ancient," Chloe says. There is a lot to be said for knowing the history of one's city and the inner workings of various things. Besides when one has a whole lot of time to kill while avoiding people, history is a much more interesting read than fiction. "If you do drop by, I generally don't begin work until the afternoons." Beat. "By choice. I keep the library open later at night as well, for patrons that prefer to come in when things are a little quieter." Or those that prefer to do business under the cover of darkness.

Rachel doesn't need to be psychic… or even a psychologist to read between the lines on that one. Since the Great Revelation, afterhours work has gotten a whole lot more interesting. (In something of a Chinese proverb sort of way.) Still, she nods, smile still warm, though her chuckle is dry. "I can imagine. Lots of public offices have had to expand their hours, I know." All be cause 'vampires are people, too'. Far as the profiler's concerned, her jury's still out on that. But that's mainly because she's never been up-close-and-personal with any of them. Until she gets a feel for them outside of the sensationalism of the media or the fiction shelf, well, she'll just treat them like she would any other 'unknown quantity' — very carefully and at a cautious distance.

"A lot of the public sector here was given the choice of whether to remain open later or not. Provided that I don't mind the late night hours, I see no reason to close the library. I was spending most evenings there after hours anyhow so really it was no big change for me."

There is a squeal behind them, and a little girl runs up and plasters her face to the tank. This leaves Chloe looking perplexed for a moment, giving the child an odd look.

"I believe a group of school children will be here in approximately — " The thought grabbed a moment too late as they're suddenly swarmed by a group of first graders. " — now."

Rachel's hands actually rise nearly to the level of her shoulders as the youngsters swarm toward the glass. It's like suddenly finding herself waist deep in onrushing water, and her posture reflects the fact she's basically wading in the same. "Yeah, no kidding," she laughs in reply to the woman. She glances between the kids and the glass. Chances are, with how boring this particular fish is, they won't linger long. Even so, Rachel gives a small shake of her brown head. "I think that's my cue to move on. In any case, I'm sure I've taken enough of your time. I think I'll go grab a coffee." Sure, Chloe's welcome to join her, but Rachel doesn't make an open offer. She doesn't know the woman so well, yet. And strawberry-haired girl doesn't really seem the sort to be fond of crowds, which a coffee shop would have — if it's any good. Not, mind, that a corridor full of first graders is any better. So, perhaps that's what changes Rachel's mind. Almost as an afterthought she adds, "You're welcome to come if you want, but don't don't feel obligated." She holds up the paper that's still in her free hand, the bag of chips clutched closed in her other. "Thanks again for this. I appreciate it."

A glance at her wristwatch, and Chloe shakes her head. "I would generally love to join you to continue the discussion of the city, and history, but I have an engagement to get to in an hour and a bit, and I've got to run home to change for it." Not that she doesn't have clothing at the location, but as she has to put on her best in order to discuss a particular someone with Will, it seems prudent to get home, shower, and live in the relative silence that is her apartment, even if for only a while. "But I'll tell you what. If you stop by the library, I'll take you for coffee at the nearby shop, my treat." A brighter smile touches her lips and she nods. "Any time. I hope it's helpful!"

Rachel gives another warm smile and a nod. "Always. Take care, Miss Cornett." With that, she steps around the half-pint mob, tosses her chip bag into a nearby receptical, and slips the notepaper into a narrow pocket. And thus she's off to try to find a decent coffee — which might be an impossibility this far out of NYC, but no one can say she isn't persistent in her hunt… and hope.

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