Godsend Bargain

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hiro_icon.gif zoe_icon.gif

Scene Title Godsend Bargain
Synopsis Hiro's search for the Brill paintings starts at the source: the Linderman archive.
Date February 17, 2009

Linderman Group Building - Archives


Not that there are anything like visitor hours here, but it's well after most daytime staff would be home going about their lives. The quiet of the Linderman Building at night goes uninterrupted, although it is very subtly intruded upon. In what is left of the gallery of prophetic paintings of Isaac Mendez a man just spontaneously appears. He's clad almost entirely in black and has a sword that once belonged to the same man this building does.

But over the span of many hundreds of years now, irregularly, the sword of Takezo Kensei has been guided by the hand of Hiro Nakamura.

Ignoring the ubiquitous security cameras, Hiro produces a small rectangular digital camera and turns it on. The shutter whirrs open quietly and its lights come on. Though these paintings before him now have all come true, Hiro proceeds to photograph them anyway. When it comes down to it, they probably don't really belong here.

Zoe had just stepped out to get some dinner from the corporate caf. So she steps back into archive, and almost immediately seems to sense something is wrong. Maybe it's the air pressure, or the soft whir of his camera. Maybe it's just a hermit's innate sense when their space is invaded. Frowning, she puts down her cartoon at her desk, and begins to move through the aisles, peering to try and see if anyone's about. "Hello?" she calls out tenatively. "Is someone there? Can I help you?"

Oh yes, someone is here. Hiro doesn't try to even hide. In fact once Zoe approaches close enough to see him, he simply gives her a glance and goes about framing up another of the paintings for a photograph. "What do you know about the stolen paintings?" he asks directly. No beating around the bush. No intros.

"Do I know you?" Zoe asks in confusion, because she is in fact, getting that feeling one gets when they see a face that has come across their memory but they can't quite grab onto in the actual instat of confrontation. "Who are you? I mean - what are you doing here? I'm the curator here. There's nothing in this archive that I haven't touched."

The questions don't elicit much of a response as Hiro snaps another photo. But Zoe's last words do. He stops. Turns and looks directly at her. Then takes a few steps toward her, familiar squiggle-symbol on the hilt of his sword peeking over his shoulder and quite visible now. "So you remember the paintings. The five. That were stolen." Most people would probably call security about now.

Except she knows him. She doesn't know how yet, but she does. "Yes…" she says, and then frowns, retreating down the aisle. How does she know him? she turns a corner, tapping in a keycode so a drawer slides out.

"My name is Hiro Nakamura." he says, finally introducing himself. He walks after the girl, not exactly chasing but keeping up. She has information and he wants it. "I need your help."

Zoe stops dead. Turns and stares at him, gulping as she pushes her glasses further up her face. "Hiro Nakamura? Companion to Takezo Kensei? Carp?"

Hiro freezes in his tracks and watches Zoe. His brows knit briefly. "How do you know that?" he asks, not so much surprised at the Takezo Kensei reference, but the nickname. Carp.

"I've seen you." she says. She gestures into the drawer for him to look. "It's what I do. I know all about Takezo Kensei, his travels…my uncle was very particular about my knowing his history. At least, as much of it as I could absorb."

The interest of a foreign woman being at all specialized in specifically the exploits of Takezo Kensei seem so unlikely to Hiro as to occur to him as either some sort of setup or the hand of Fate interfering with his actions once more. For now he's opting for the Fate theory. Stepping closer, he peers into the drawer indicated by the woman and mentions distractedly, "Why was your uncle interested in Kensei?"

In the drawer, carefully cradled in foam, is the maskpiece of the Kensei's armor. "I couldn't say." she says. "I know he's out there - is he who you're looking for? Who are you exactly? You seemed to know so much about him, then. You were like some…fairy godmother." A pause. "Without the, you know, being an old woman. Or wearing a dress. Or having wings."

Hiro betrays a quiet laugh in spite of himself. "I never thought I'd see it again." he says, reaching for the mask and quite uncaring of it's present antiquity and therefore value. To him it was just another piece of Kensei's armor, which he himself wore quite a few times. "I told you who I am. I'm Hiro Nakamura. I'm from this time. My father used to tell me stories of Kensei when I was a child."

The mildest of flashbacks in Hiro's mind as he recalls Kaito, a significantly less dour man back then, bordering almost on excitement as he told Hiro Kensei stories, like some children grew up being told about Zorro or Superman.

In the here and now, Hiro's voice becomes almost a whisper as he shares, "That man was not the hero the legends say."

Zoe flushes. "I'm Zoe. Zoe Porter. Daniel Linderman is my uncle. Could you um, put that back? I mean, it's kind of a relic." She blinks. "I met him once. He was…well. Not what I expected."

Suddenly Hiro realizes he's gotten grabby with the mask, a priceless artifact. "Oh yes. Sorry." And he puts the mask back. It was one thing to take the Kensei sword from Linderman's collection. He needed the sword. But he doesn't need that mask and it might as well be preserved here. "So Kensei is still alive. I wondered if he could die. When did you meet him?"

So far, smashing good job of distracting Hiro from what he came here to do.

"Some time ago. Before the bridges collapsed." She gently closes the door. "Why are you here? I should - really, I should be calling for security. If my uncle finds out about this, he'll be furious."

"Don't call security," Hiro says, with that tone of voice indicating it would just be a stupid thing to do. He pulls his eyes from the drawer and then looks Zoe right in the eyes. "Miss Porter, I need your help. I need you tell me whatever you can about those stolen paintings. Do you have any photos of them?"

Zoe doesn't feel that yes-but-you-can't-see-them is a good answer. So she simply shakes her head. "No." she says succinctly, pushing at her glasses again and backing away. "There are security cameras…" Of course, security would be here already.

"I know there are cameras." Hiro says, still keeping his patience but just. He gestures toward Zoe with an open hand, "Look, at least tell me what was on them. You said you've handled everything in here. I have to know if there is something…bad, about to happen. So that maybe it can be stopped."

Zoe frowns. "If I help you…then you have to do something for me. Fill in the blanks about Takezo Kensei. I'll describe the first two for you, right now, but you have to - you have to come back. And talk to me about Kensei."

Briefly Hiro shakes his head as if to say Whatever. "Sure. Anything you want to know about Kensei, I'll tell you. I don't care. Look, there's a lot of time to talk about Kensei. The history behind is is not going to change, Miss Porter. The history yet to come can be affected. Don't you see that?" Sure, two paintings is something, but what if the other three occur earlier?


To be continued. More will be added to this log as paintings are discovered.


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February 17th: Submitted For Your Approval
Previously in this storyline…
Antipode

Next in this storyline…
Boo

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February 17th: Hell In Here
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