The tall man stood out in his frilly shirt and velvet coat. She noted him with a raised eyebrow, feeling the charisma he exuded as that touch of a MythMaker. In all her travels with Woody's Time Corps, she had learned to mark out those who were either potential Authors, impacting the World-As-Myth significantly, or the MythMakers themselves, the Leading Characters turned loose who often caused diverging timelines. The Time Corps had stumbled over this particular timeline, and asked Maureen to explore it, as the few divergences they had mapped quickly folded back on themselves. She had come to a particularly troubled point in this Earth's history, looking for the mysterious figure known as The Doctor, to see just how this timeline was being kept so tidy, with so few time paradoxes or divergences.
She noted the man with the velvet coat give a smile here, a word there to the various off-duty soldiers in this little pub. She sipped her drink, carefully shielding her curiosity as she observed his progress to a table with a Brigadier already seated there. The impression she got was of age-old friends, between the two men. Other observations led her to believe that the flamboyantly dressed man was privately grieving the loss of something in his life, while covering it with pointed gibes and teasing at his friend. The bits of their conversation that she could make out involved a wedding of someone named 'Jo' and whether the Doctor, as the Brigadier was calling him, would take another assistant.
The pair finished their meal and drinks before a friendly banter over the check ensued, but it was the Brigadier that paid, making Maureen smile at the corners of her lips. She was fast gaining the impression of a gallant rogue. Her drink lasted a good five more minutes, to give the pair a chance to move on. When she had paid, with money scrupulously adhering to the real thing despite having been manufactured aboard Dora, she rose and made her way out to the boarding house she was staying in.
She had registered him standing to the side of the door just a second before he spoke, but she gave a good impression of having been startled.
"Oh! Hello yourself, sir." She did nothing to disguise her childhood Missouri dialect; she had a cover story of being here to research her family history.
"American, but with a flavor of something more exotic," he commented. "Care to walk a ways, so we can discuss your interest in UNIT and/or myself?" He offered her his arm with a flourish and a smile, and she found herself more than pleased to respond to his charm. He had the charisma of Galahad, tempered by Jubal's wise ways, she decided.
"UNIT? That would be the military group you work with, Doctor, isn't it?" When the cover was blown, sometimes it was best to just play from the revealed position.
"Aces in one," he replied. "Miss?" The way he stressed the singular titular word could be construed as a low-flight come on, or at least a compliment. She weighed her options; did she want to come across as the very much married woman that she was, or the free maiden he perceived?
"Johnson." It had been sometime since she used her maiden name, she realized, as she tended to think of herself as a Long. "Maureen Johnson."
They walked until they were on a garden path in the small memorial park, pleasantly away from prying ears.
"So you were investigating me," the Doctor said without preamble, but without malice as well.
"Yes." She smiled up at him, keeping her decorum within the perceived mores of this time period and culture. "I know you are a time traveler, and that you tend to crop up at points where time may be stressed by latent events."
"And for that to be of interest to you, you are either not human," he began, though his eyes wandered just enough to let her know he could appreciate her human form. "Or, you are also familiar with time travel."
"The latter. I belong to a group that studies time anomalies." She kept the part about managing them to herself; she was merely an investigator, so her words were truthful.
"And?" He had a way of looking at a person that almost compelled confidences, but Maureen had given birth to the human race's most adept manipulator, Woody. Or Lazarus, as he tended to go by through the majority of his centuries.
"You became a topic of interest, as the timeline seems to have the potential to diverge several times, yet under your influence, it remains whole. Or, at most, small causal loops occur." She gave him one of her real smiles, and liked the fact that he appreciated the impact without it affecting his judgment.
"I would love to see the machinery you use to actually map a timeline in such a way as to let you see the patterns so clearly," he commented. "Well, Miss Johnson, it seems I could use an assistant on a small jaunt I need to make here soon. You've been fairly honest with me; how about coming along and seeing first hand what it is I do?"
"I believe I haven't had a better proposition in weeks," she told him with a small smile, catching the glint in his eye that promised a whirlwind adventure.