Research And Development


alia_icon.gif cardinal_icon.gif devi_icon.gif elisabeth_icon.gif

Scene Title Research and Development
Synopsis One of the Institute's toys is brought to the tech-heads of Endgame for examination.
Date August 24, 2010

Redbird Security: Basement

At the bottom of the stairs there's a sturdy metal-reinforced door, locked not with an electronic mechanism but with an old-fashioned mechanical combination lock. A bright yellow biohazard sign is hung up on the door.

Once through the door, the basement is mostly open space interspersed with support columns of grey brick. A thick layer of grey latex paint covers the walls and floor, the ceiling overhead tiled with squares of sound-suppressing foam. A few filing cabinets are pushed up against the near wall, and a single computer desk, the box unconnected to anything except for power, sits between some of those cabinets. The rest of the front part of the roomis an area with folding chairs around a table and a pull-down screen across from a podium with a projector sitting on top of it, evidently for meetings. Deeper in the room, two dozen free-standing posts with sand-filled bases are scattered about, with strings and lines of yarn of all manner of colours connecting them. Post-it notes and photographs have been attached here and there with little pieces of tape. The far wall, behind the string map, bears the legend in stark white block letters upon the grey that stretches across most of the wall and from floor to ceiling: 'FIGHT THE FUTURE'.

The right third of the room has been divided from the rest by a wall of bulletproof glass and metal framing, accessed by a simple glass door near the main entrance of the basement. Inside, three locked gun cabinets sit against the wall, and the rest of that section of the room has been turned into two shooting lanes. Cheap pulley assemblies on the ceiling attached to electric motors hold target posters.

"…ecret, of course, this fuckin' thing could get all of us killed," Cardinal's voice spills into the basement as the door's unlocked and pushed open, his head shaking slowly from side to side, "It's bad enough that they have these things, but can you imagine if Humanis got their hands on them? Or someone like Sylar?"

He walks out along into the basement, towards the table where there's a faraday bag resting sealed upon its surface.

Devi follows behind Cardinal, waving her hand. She hasn't the slightest clue who this Sylar character is, but she understands secrecy easily enough. "Dunno who Sylar is, but I get the hint. My lips ah' sealed." She pauses in the entryway to the basement, brow cocked in an arc of scrutiny before she lets out a long whistle of approval. "Niiiice, Toots. Very nice." She falls back into pace behind Cardinal.

She's been sitting down here listening to the recordings that Colette brought earlier. Elisabeth has every light in the basement on, including the ones in the firing range. The earbuds in her ears block most of the sound from the room and she's got a notebook full of notes, writing with a faint scowl of concentration. Blue eyes flicker upward as the door opens long enough for her to take in who's coming in the door and offer the man at the front a small smile, her gaze lingering for a moment longer than it needs to, and then she's back to taking her notes.

Alia looks up from the computer desk. She had gotten there early, and had been triple checking things were set up according to both plan, and to security specifications. She nods to the two incoming people silently, a bit of a salute with a cup of hot cocoa.

"His power lets him steal the powers of other Evolved," Cardinal says flatly, glancing back to her, "He has to cut open their heads and delve into their brains to do it, though." How pleasant. He gives an easy nod to Elisabeth as she looks up to him, and then he reaches over for the bag, unzipping the top and turning it over to carefully shake out the contents - a strap, a thick watch frame, and some broken bits of circuit board and LED display.

"I'm hoping you and Alia can do something with this."

The biker bitch offers a simple nod of acknowledgement to the two individuals already taking occupancy in the basement. The dark haired woman's nose wrinkles up in a little sneer at the description of Sylar. "It's not safe to be Evolved," she mumbles under her breath as she observes the pieces dumped out on the tale before her. Her eyes flicker with the earnest effort to collect the surface data of each piece. "Huh," she notes absently, already absorbed. "Alia?" she inquires, sparing only a moment's glance up before her dark gaze is back on the items.

Alia looks up at her name a second time, then smiles. "Me." She doesn't add anything else to the sentence, as she looks at the broken material. Not much use to her in it's current state so she shrugs.

"That's Alia, our technopath," Cardinal offers by way of introduction, "This is Devi, she does things with machines… shit, I don't even know what to call it." A wry note to his voice as he admits, "We're hoping that between the two of you we can at least get this thing back together, even if we can't get it working yet… although that'd be ideal, of course."

"Mechanical Intuation," Devi mumbles as if entranced by the little pieces on the table. She drops her messenger bag and pulls up a seat. "That's what Looney Tune called it, anyway. You got some tweezers or somethin'? My tools ain't worth crap for this… But, I think I can piece it together. Can't tell you if it'll work. Computers ain't my thing, but…" She looks up and smiles to Alia. "Sounds like that's where you come in. Technopath? Nifty." She nods and begins to segregate pieces to designated areas of the table, organizing with an almost anal attention to detail.

Alia smirks a little at her ability being called nifty. "Functioning… can work with it. In parts… Not much." She digs into her backpack, and pulls out a full electronics kit, tweezers, soldering iron, solder, a full breadboard prototyping kit… someone came prepared.

"I don't even know what all those little bits are," Cardinal points out in rather dry tones, sprawling back into a chair and leaning back to watch the two tech-heads confer and trade tools, one hand raking back through his hair, "And to save you the effort of asking, Alia, that's a compass that detects large gatherings of the Evolved…"

Laying her pen down atop the notebook she's using to take notes, Elisabeth looks up from the paper and pulls the headset out. "The trouble is, 'large gatherings' is a pretty subjective term," the blonde comments. "Richard, I had a thought on the April Bradley situation. I'm not sure we can actually tap the resource, but … she's most likely tagged with the isotope. And our Company friend might be able to tap it and get a fix on her."

Devi grins at Alia and plucks up the tweezers first. "Honestly?" she comments towards Cardinal, even with her head still bowed over the pieces, words wandering up from behind a mane of wild, dark hair. "I have no idea what these pieces are neither…" But, there she goes. With the little blueprint stuck on her mind's eye, piecing the contraption together like a 3-D puzzle. She pauses from time to time, trading one chip for another of appropriate size. She slides it towards Alia from one moment to the other, pointing to a spot. "Solder, please?" Welding she can do. Solder? She leaves it to the techno.

"April Bradley?" Devi pauses to look up again, glancing from Elisabeth to Cardinal. "I gotta start comin' to the meetings," she finally admits with a lopsided smirk.

Alia smirks, soldering where she's told to solder, watching the work as it is put together. She looks up at the mention of 'isotope' and 'fix', but makes no comment.

"She's a time traveler," explains Cardinal in the cliff's notes version to Devi's question without missing a beat, his brow furrowing a little as he considers Elisabeth for a moment, "Which one—? It might make a good test of where Bishop's loyalties lie, if you wanted to risk it. I'm not sure if either of them have access to the satellite…"

Devi nods her understanding and avoids the urge to ask what one might do with a time traveler. She much more prefers her world, currently absorbed as it is in the use of her ability. An outlet, as promised, she loses herself again in the task of piecing together the strange compass unit. She continues to use the aid of Alia's soldering, noting at one point. "You'll have to teach me how to do that, yeah?"

Alia smirks. "Sure." she looks to Cardinal then between soldering. "Satellite?" Her eyes glimmer with mischief. "Got name? Coordinates?" The technopath sees a way to help… and it might even be fun.

Cardinal pauses for a moment at the question, then gives Alia a sharp look. "Ask Apila," he suggests, "She can probably give you the coordinates. Failing that, one of our agents in the Company might be able to get you the data… I'm not sure." Wryly, he notes, "I have issues with my phone. Space is beyond me."

Elisabeth gives Cardinal one of those exasperated Looks that women the world over will recognize. The 'dear God, you are such a MAN' look. Affectionate exasperation mixed with a high dosage of amusement. Shaking her head, she stands up and takes her empty coffee cup with her as she approaches the slouched shadowmorph. "Here, babe," she tells him, handing him the notebook she was using. "That's about the first half of the recordings with where in the data cards they are so if you want to listen to something specific yourself, Alia can help you locate the card and the timestamp on the recording." Because the Luddite will never manage it himself. "I'm heading up to the office to catch a catnap. Nudge me when you're ready to get out of here, okay?"

After a few more moments, Devi picks up the last few pieces. She goes so far as to string the strap through on hook of the frame. She holds the frame in one hand and the faceplate in the other, hovering them over the internal components and cocking her head to the side to imagine the truly completed contraption. After a long, scrutinizing moment, she nods approvingly. "Come pat me on the back, Toots," she teases, leaning back in her seat with a proud expression, stretching her arms out like a contented feline. "Done."

Alia takes the device and picks it up as she picks up an apporirate battery to shove into the case. "… Hmm." She closes her eyes, and to the average onlooker, she'd passed out… in reality she's just interfaced with the device, and likely isn't very responsive to the outside world.

"Thanks, babe…" Cardinal pushes himself to his feet, "I've got a feeling I've got a long night ahead of me…" He reaches out to accept the notebook, tossing it onto the table and reaching to slide one hand along her shoulder briefly, a quick smile offered to Elisabeth, "Go get some rest." Then there's news, and he turns back to take a look, resting a hand on Devi's back as he peers down, "Nice work…"

Devi rubs her nails on the front of her shirt before looking down and blowing on them in a very theatrical 'I know'-fashion. She smiles, though. "Thanks." She looks up, dark eyes bright with curiosity as she watches Alia.

With a grin at the two women, Liz briefly slips her hand up to touch the one on her shoulder and then she slips out to in fact that that catnap on the loveseat in Cardinal's office. ANd now he knows why Liz had Peyton put one in there. Ha!

After a long moment of watching Alia, Devi slowly leans into the side near Cardinal. She quirks a brow. "She okay? What's she doin'?"

"I've got something else that you two ladies might be interested in taking a look at too," Cardinal's hand trails down over Devi's shoulder, and then he drops back into the seat beside her, leaning forward to rest his weight on folded arms, "Not just yet, I need to make sure it's all in working order yet… but if you two can come up with something similar with cheaper materials, maybe…" A look to the biker bitch, "Oh, she's doing that 'ghost in the machine' thing they do. Shit, half the technopaths I know don't even have a body anymore."

Alia sighs and shakes her head as she comes to. "Need to… toy with. Frequency not set right." She shrugs and stretches. She obviously did NOT hear a word of what was just said. Or if she did she has no comment. She pauses in thought a moment. "Isotope gives off signal… could tune it to that."

Devi perks up, pointing a finger from Alia to Cardinal. "Yeah, I saw that anime…" She shakes her head. "F-ed up movie when your trippin'." She grimaces and wags her finger before turning to look back at Alia. "Creepy," she whispers out of the side of her mouth in Cardinal's direction, giving a little start as the woman shows signs of life again. She nods, which slowly changes to shaking her head. She points to Alia casually. "Yeah, what she said." She grins and shrugs.

"I don't think that's the right sort of signal it's set to…" Cardinal regards the device, before shaking his head, "…well, it's a start, at least. Do you two think you can reproduce these, if we can get our hands on the proper EM frequency?"

Alia frowns. "Take apart, get chip numbers." she says with a shrug, and a slow smile. "If so… yes."

Devi looks to Aliah and back to Cardinal. "Consider us your gals. Get us the stuff and I'll put together as many as you need."

"Good." Cardinal leans back slowly in his chair, brows raising a little, "Because in a couple weeks I'm going to give you a much more complicated thing to work on…" He pauses, smile curving to his lips, "…it's a little unfair that FRONTLINE gets all this power armor. I think we need our own."

Alia smirks VERY slowly as she reaches into her bag, and pulls out a printout, which she hands to Cardinal. It's … a materials list. Someone, for once, has thought ahead as much as the person supposedly in control of this chessboard.

Devi looks to Cardinal, jutting a thumb in Alia's direction. "She's good. I like her." She swivels back about to face the woman. "Can I borrow you some time? Gotta a few newer bikes that are givin' me a bitch o' a time with the elec-…" Devi pauses, blinks, and looks to Cardinal. "Those bitchin' suits they were wearin' when they scraped that faceless guy off the pavement? Fuck yeah! I want a peek."

As the paper's handed over, Cardinal smirks just a bit — shaking his head, his gaze roams down the page. "We probably can't get all of this stuff," he admits, "If you two can come up with something a little more… trimmed down maybe…"

Alia smiles and shrugs and poitns to Devi. "Her?" as she as sure has no engineering to work with on this scale… she doesn't mention a few other things she will note to Cardinal later.

Devi purses her lips at the suggestion of altering the glimpsed suit's design. Her fingers dance on the tabletop like anxious spiders for a brief moment. Outlet. Outlet. Outlet. The compass was easier than she had anticipated, after all. Perhaps she's getting the hang of this Evo-thing. "Can't hurt ta try," she mummbles. She looks aside at Cardinal. "I want one, though," she demands with a tilted grin, like a greedy child demanding gifts from Santa.

"If we can swing this," Cardinal's chin dips in a nod, his lips curving in a slow smile, "We'll all have one. I've always wanted my own FRONTLINE unit, after all…" A sudden buzz from a pocket, and he reaches down to slide the phone into his hand, snapping it open to scan the text there. He snorts, closing it, "Christ."

Alia raises an eyebrow.

Devi smiles. "Boy, you know how to reach for the stars." The biker grins, the expression fading as she watches the little exchange with the cellular phone. "I'll take that as my cue to leave." She stands and slings her messenger bag back over her shoulder, nodding her head in Alia's direction. "Nice meetin' ya. Come by the shop if ya want and have some free time." She turns and glances at Cardinal. She pauses, uncertain if she wants to make the offer. Finally, she sighs: "Need help wit' somethin'?"

A tight shake of Cardinal's head, and he snaps it closed. "Warren'll be sending his people by to clean up, but he won't be bothering you again," he says, sliding the phone back to his belt before pushing himself up to his feet, "Now I've got some decisions to make about him and Elle, though." He grins to Devi, "Thanks, babe. I'll talk to you soon."

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