Three Part Harmony

Participants:

adel_icon.gif alia_icon.gif gillian_icon.gif hana_icon.gif kaylee_icon.gif luther_icon.gif noa_icon.gif richard_icon.gif warren_icon.gif

Also Featuring:

wf_cardinal_icon.gif ff_des_icon.gif magnes_icon2.gif ff_chel_icon.gif

Scene Title Three Part Harmony
Synopsis Raytech enlists the help of many allies to accomplish the impossible.
Date June 28, 2018

La mer

Summer sun hangs lot and fiery across western Kansas, spilling burning orange and deep blues and blacks over gentle rolling hills and hazy, humid air. Fireflies glint and glitter in the tall grass around the dirt parking lot of the WRAY broadcasting building, a squat concrete-block structure with an array of radio antennas extending from its flat single-story roof.

Qu'on voit danser

Four black pickup trucks are parked side-by-side in the dirt parking lot, another much heavier and armored vehicle beside that one belongs to Wolfhound. Cigarette butts are pressed into the dirt, and two security professionals in light tactical gear stand around the perimeter of the building, occasionally casting furtive glances to the spooling wires and cables that come down the wheelchair accessible ramp, wind through the parking lot, and then ascend up to the roof.

Le long des golfes clairs

Everything is green out here, where it isn’t bathed in shades of gold. The western hills are steep and grassy, the small scrub trees that grow up along the hillside don’t block the picturesque sunset or the golden hour of day. There is more commotion inside, noise of many people in an enclosed space without much room to move. One of the security officers finishes his cigarette, flicking it down onto the ground to grind with the heel of his boot. Something electrical buzzes loudly inside. “Science” is happening in the loosest sense of the word.

A des reflets d'argent

A brief flight of starlings burst from the nearby trees, moving in an amoeba-like formation through the air, winding around one of the antenna on the roof. They settle, briefly, on the solar panels before one of the security guards pitches a rock their way, scattering them. They were instructed to watch out for birds. For reasons.

La mer

There is less than an hour of sunlight now, and nothing has changed. News reports confirmed an X-class solar flare released late yesterday has reached the Earth, temporarily disrupting already fragile telecommunications networks and satellites. The sky is nearly cloudless, save for a whorl of purple and blue near the sun, where wispy cirrus threatens cloudy days ahead.

Des reflets changeants

One week ago it was the first day of summer, and while tonight won’t be the longest night of the year by any measure of time…

Sous la pluie

…it will be a long night, regardless.


WRAY Broadcasting

3501 N Seth Child Road

Manhattan, Kansas

June 28, 2018

8:19 pm local time


The ground floor of the WRAY building is a single concrete-block walled room. Old radio equipment from the 1980s and a few components from the 1990s spill over the wall opposite the door, with a long table lined with dials and sound mixing equipment. A single microphone sits in front of an old, duct-tape patched chair that saw much use during the Civil War, when Raquelle Cambria broadcast messages of hope and inspiration from this very building. The hatch down to the bunker isn’t open right now, there’s no need to revisit that bolt-hole left by Edward Ray for his estranged, adopted son.

Today was supposed to be the day, a day when the boundaries between worlds was thin enough to listen, or perhaps speak. But so far, all that’s come over the radio waves has been the haunting melodies of Else Kjelstrom’s voice from beyond the grave, singing an acapella rendition of Charles Trenet’s La Mer on an endless loop.

It was in the months that began the war that this signal was last heard, and when Richard Ray - then Cardinal - sat in that chair as well, listening to that long-dead woman sing a song that she never sung and wondering at the meaning of it.

These days, he has more context.

“It’s coming through loud and clear, at least,” says Richard as he navigates the tangle of wires from a once-antiquated radio broadcasting panel that’s been modified over the past week by his adoptive brother, “So that assumption was correct - the proximity of the solar matter to the planet affects the vibrational frequencies enough to bring us closer together.”

The chair creaks as he drops down into it, duct tape crackling from the pressure upon it, “So now we have to find out if we can broadcast and get their attention… it should just be an issue of finding the right frequency to broadcast on.” Which is where the residents of the crowded room whose abilities relate to technology should be able to help… or so he’s gambling on, with dice made by Warren and hopefully nudged by the Gitelmans.

What the game they’re playing with those dice is, well— that’s a different question altogether.

It felt a little surreal to be there again.

Kaylee still remembers their time there. The large family unit sharing the same area trying to keep people’s morale up. She had already wandered the grounds checking this thing and that. Just allowing herself to soak in the peacefulness of it before ending up where she was now. Stuck in a corner, towards the back. With so many people in the room, she preferred not to be surrounded by them.

Because of excitement of the experiment, the humming in her head was at a higher pitch. She would probably have a headache by the end of all this. However, she would not have missed this for anything.

Leaning against the back wall, one foot perched on the wall, one arm wraps around her, but the other is tucked close and she might be anxiously chewing a thumb nail. She’ll have to see Raquelle soon and her nails fixed before her next meeting.

Meanwhile, from one side of the console, Alia stands at a secondary monitor… she isn’t quite as good at manipulating radio directly… but then, she’s brought some other non-critical receivers to sniff with. WiFi gear of every stripe and range set to scan aggressively for networks to scarf down the data from… she’ll worry about decrypting it later…

For now, she’s more watching to see what other than the bloody annoying to her song ends up getting picked up, and to help tune the transmitter that Warren more than likely asked her to help program… Can’t be worse than the last time she programed one of Warren’s gadgets, right?

Like Kaylee, Hana leans against a wall rather than sitting in a chair, more than half of her attention on the hum of signals both digital and analog, and on their intersection with solar radiation; less on the metaphysical nattering of one Richard Ray. Her demeanor has been more stiff than usual, if only by a matter of degree — and exactly nothing has been said about their last meeting, or the note on which it ended.

Dark eyes flick from the man in the chair to the radio and the music it emits. "Seems like a fairly ordinary signal," she observes. "So far as I can tell."

T.Amas remains carefully tucked within the confines of Wireless' ability, contributing its own perspective to their silent analysis, and only that — taking no action, as of yet, that might reveal its eavesdropping presence.

One person’s head is not buzzing with excitement. Gillian’s worried. Very much so. She’s learned how to hide such things, but they come through in fidgeting and needing to keep her hands busy, in the form of running her fingers along the pages of a notebook she carries around with her. Fairly ordinary signal, they say. She’s hoping that’s the case, because she doesn’t much like the idea of what they’re doing even if she agreed to it.

Too much has gone wrong when her ability was involved in the past. Far, far too much.

Adel, on the other hand, is definitely a bundle of nervous energy. What she had been told had been enough to get her hopes up even if she consistently told herself not to. Other times and other worlds aren’t easy to travel, and she knew that the odds were stacked against them. But the odds were somehow better than they had been a few days before. When he was just dead. Maybe now she could forgive herself for going after the other Richard Cardinal, instead of trying to help her father as his gravity threatened to crush him.

She looks toward Hana as she speaks, nodding, then toward Noa, to see if she adds something more, still rocking where she sits looking nervous and trying her best to keep from smiling too much. Because this feels like it should be serious. And because she feels like she needs to tell herself not to get her hopes up.

"I just want to reassure everyone, that regardless of any ominous warnings my family might give, the idea that I might have a giant war robot hiding underground around here is definitely way overblown." Warren says as he wears a pair of goggles, a white tanktop, blue jeans, and black work boots.

He's tinkering, tools sticking out of the fingers of his ridiculously advanced golden arm. Unlike Monica's arm, his isn't plugged into his brain, he doesn't really require or even desire to feel anything in his arm, that makes it so much better in his opinion.

The technopaths will note how ridiculously analog it is, despite its advanced design. Though it seems to have some sort of neuro interface where machine meets flesh, it's nothing particularly proprietary.

Mostly.

Okay maybe Warren didn't care that much to hide some things.

Banging on something attached to the radio, twisting a knob on some second machine he brought with him and tossed together to boost the signal, he doesn't seem to be stopping to rest at any point. "And even if there is a robot, I don't even have the helmet I wore to control it as it rained down chaos on the battlefield. Now, I might have a ridiculously bulky power armor that is just pushing the boundaries of being a mech, or I might be joking, I don't know, who knows, maybe you'll never know!"

He looks over at Hana really quick. "Hana's not allowed to shoot me. It's too late, I already said it."

Another man, standing beside Kaylee with exposed arms folded across his chest, doesn't lean on the wall but stands with practiced, meditative at-ease stance. Luther has taken the no unnecessary electronics note to heart; the Raytech security chief wears just a dark navy tee and black jeans, with the exception of a sidearm kept holstered on his belt.

But anybody who knows Luther, at least in his file, will recognize the man as having more than enough firepower in his reserve besides the bullets in the gun. His focus at present is upon the feel of the energies in the air and in the electronic wirings of the building. Electricity, solar radiation, and not to mention the general anticipation that is palpable in the gathered.

Luther levels a Look at Warren's rambling, barely resisting the urge to rub at a spot between his eyes. "If any battle-bots start shooting up outside this bunker and hurt my team, Mister Ray, Miss Gitelman's gun is not going to be the thing you should worry about." And that's all he has to say about that.

Noa too finds a spot against a wall to lean. She nods when Richard mentions finding the frequency, and closes her eyes. After a moment, she slides down to a squat, leaning on her knees with her elbows as she concentrates — the lower frequencies don’t come as easily, and this one is super low. Specifically…

“126 hertz,” she says, abruptly, her dark eyes opening again to make contact first with her mother, and then with Richard. “The same frequency as the sun. Fittingly.”

She pushes herself back up to a standing position. “Receiving at that low of a frequency is a lot easier than transmitting, but…” she glances over at Gillian and then Hana, before shrugging. “I guess that’s why we’re all here, right?”

Noa reaches over to squeeze Adel’s, noting her fellow time traveler’s nervous energy.

“A perfectly ordinary signal that has no origin point and only appears during periods of solar activity,” is Richard’s wry reply to Hana’s comment, before he’s reaching over to lightly swat at Warren’s shoulder.

“You’d better not have a giant robot. We have a budget, little brother. Relax, Luther, there’s no giant robot.” There’d better not be.

The announcement from Noa earns her his full attention — and a broad smile, the light of a man vindicated glinting in his eyes. “I knew it!” he all but crows, reaching over for a box on the console, “Alright. Let’s see, what should we start the broadcast at… “

Tapes are pawed through, the CEO of Raytech muttering to himself, “La Mer? No, anyone could send that, and they might think it’s just an echo, but— ah! Yes, this is perfect.” One is selected and pushed into the console.

You know the day destroys the night

Night divides the day

“I hope whoever’s listening likes the Doors,” he quips as the familiar beats begin to play, the voice of Morrison rolling beneath them.

Tried to run

Tried to hide

“Warren, begin transmission… Noa, Hana, let’s see if we can modulate the signal down to 126.22 hertz and see if we get a response.”

Break on through to the other side!

Break on through to the other side!

The worried buzz of Gillian’s mind echo’s the telepath’s own anxiety in a way. Kaylee’s mind is on a certain tape… a certain memory. The other woman’s worry is great enough that, Kaylee leans forward so she can rest an encouraging hand on her friend’s shoulder. If she looks, she might get a smile, too.

Warren’s rambling pulls her attention and she straightens, hand moving to stifle a smile. There is more of a tolerance for her brother, then there has been in the past. “Do I need to have another talk with Elle?” Kaylee is joking… mostly. “And please, don’t give anyone any reason to shoot anybody. Especially, Luther. Ask your brother about that sometime.”

Hana looks sidelong at Richard, a hint of lopsided smile quirking her lips. "Massachusetts," is all she says in response.

As Warren rambles, Hana turns her head just enough to give him a steady look, just about half a step shy of actual glare. One brow arches at his final statements. "That's all right," she says, unruffled, returning her attention to the radio. "I have plenty of options."

Also, Warren is not the first Ray she'd choose to shoot. But that's neither here nor there.

A slight gesture cedes manipulation of the signal wholly over to Noa, at least for now. After, Hana casts a glance to Gillian; she can't manipulate that low of a frequency without amplification. Hopefully, it won't come to her needing to.

Noa and Hana feel something right around the same time as the sun is nearly setting, when the last vestiges of golden light spill through the open door to the radio station from the outside. There's a buzzing sound inside the solar frequency, a static in the channel broadcasting La Mer. There's a weaker signal running on the same frequency, parallel, and distorted in such a fashion that it feels like it's layered over itself. Like someone broadcasting on the same frequency from a different source.

No, a distant source.

T. Amas can confirm from multiple receiving sources where the broadcast is originating from, bouncing off of NASA satellites listening for radio frequencies from space, in international space-aligned terrestrial arrays observing the cosmos. Someone — something — is broadcasting on the same frequency from somewhere off of Earth.

“Nice song choice,” Adel whispers quietly as she closes her eyes and listens, hoping that the ones who built this radio and who are using it can find what they are looking for, and if not… well, it’s a hope she’ll try to hold onto but not too tightly.

Meanwhile, Gillian Childs unravels the knot in her head like unwrapping a scarf from around her neck, reaching out with small threads of her ability toward Noa and Hana, a soft glow of violet in her eyes as it rises up. It only touches the two of them, Noa getting slightly more than her mother. Her fingers stop fidgeting against the paper of the notebook and she leans back against the wall to concentrate on the two of them and controlling the amount of energy that she bleeds out, for the moment.

"Space, aliens, horrors, satellites, experiments. We'll find out what's there!" Warren has things recording, just in case, but he's trying to isolate the second signal onto a separate bandwidth that he can try to isolate separate from the one that's already clear. There's a reason he brought extra equipment, and built a few things while they were at it.

The mess of equipment around him almost looks like a pile of junk, but he's twisting knobs, flicking twitches, and occasionally stabbing something with a screwdriver, and is watching a heart monitor for some reason. "I'm working on isolating this other signal, while boosting the one we already have!" He goes silent for a moment, before abruptly saying, "Shut up, Mortimer, we're married."

Alia meanwhile is watching, and recording all the signal. Leave it to the cryptic crypto to have software for splitting signals apart after the fact. Or at least, a few tricks that may help do so. But, not for the first time, she mildly is envious of the reach of her peers. Ah well, nothing she can do about it, but do what she can… speaking of…

“Warren, no giants. Cats are enough trouble.” She grumbles.

Luther’s response to being told relax is an arch of his brows upward. He hardly does so, at least inwardly. Outwardly, the man remains alert and attentive as the broadcast begins. A subtle shift of his position places him a little closer to the telepath of the group and within a lunge or two’s distance to the gathered technopaths and amp. If he were honest, he’d want them to find none of the things Warren lists off.

The younger Gitelman is quiet, leaving her mother to sass Warren, though the quirk of her mouth to the side suggests she overheard and probably approves. Her eyes close as she focuses on the transmission of the song, on lowering the frequency to that of the sun.

When she feels that second signal, she tips her head, her eyes opening to find her mother’s, brows lifting as if to ask, do you hear that, too? “Where’s that coming from?” she murmurs. It’s then that Gillian’s tendrils reach her and she nods when she feels the surge in her power — the clarity it brings as she listens.

“There’s a second signal,” she tells Richard and those who can’t sense it via equipment or abilities. “It feels like it’s just an overlay but I don’t think it is. I’m going to try to amplify it, see if we can hear it.”

She crouches again, closing her eyes and tipping her head upward, focusing on the different waves, tuning the first signal out to hear the second all the better.

La Mer fades away into the background static as Noa utilizes her augmented ability to try and tune the radio frequencies. As she modulates one signal down and tries to boost another, a new sound begins coming over the received airwaves, an electric bass. It’s hard to make out at first, but there’s vocals as well. It sounds like a live recording with considerable background noise, likely wind, and Noa has to struggle to get it to come in. But for a brief moment, there’s a voice.

«…all against it all»
«As I always was.»
«You remember me?»
«Bright against a black hole»

Adel recognizes the voice immediately. It’s her father.

And then just like that, it fades out of Noa’s grasp. The signal is incredibly weak, and she has to fight to keep it in tune.

“Let me know when we hit the solar frequency,” says Richard, fingers anxiously brushing over the microphone’s base as he stares at the console in front of him. When there’s word of another signal, he looks sharply over at Noa. “What? Another— “

His eyes widen as the guitar cuts through, and despite the roar of wind in the background, the voice coming through. “Is that…” Then it cuts out, and he looks over to Adel, “Was that…?”

If anyone could confirm his suspicions, it’d be her, after all.

Luther gets a small amused smile, a hand resting briefly on his arm as a reassurance, possibly against his worried thoughts. Kaylee might have offered verbal reassurance too, but the announcement of the second signal pulls her attention.

Having only met Magnes a few times, Kaylee isn’t sure that is or isn’t who she was hearing. The voice did sound familiar though. Pushing away from the wall, her head tilts some as she listens trying to make out what she can, with open curiosity.

Now it's the elder Gitelman who remains silent, looking on as Warren fusses with his inexplicable gadgetry and as her daughter works to boost that other, even more inexplicable transmission. The murmured query goes unanswered as Hana takes in her secondary's analysis, considers the fickle nature of the signal even in the face of Noa's efforts.

"Ought to have a teleporter," Hana murmurs, not meant for anyone but herself.

Breathing out, she takes a moment to nod briefly to Gillian before closing her eyes and leaning back against the wall. Working from Tenzin's projection of point of origin, she reaches for the strongest version of that other signal that Wireless can pick out of the ambient background. Amplified by Gillian, she amplifies the signal in turn before it passes on to Noa. Perhaps with the two of them in tandem, it can be stabilized.

Together, Hana and her daughter amplified by Gillian can accomplish so much. As the wave of amplification sinks into her and she reaches out, it isn't just the signal that Hana can feel. Her expansive range blooms beyond where she is normally “confined” feeling satellites and their transmissions as clear as she would in the arctic. But there is also that transmission, that faint signal coming from somewhere in space, refracted and garbled, difficult to separate from the background radiation.

Difficult, but not impossible.

«…dark, here in another world»

As they cooperate, the song comes back into a crisp focus, clearer even than before though still masked by some intermittent static.

«Survived the virus, stepped into the bright forest of pine.»

Magnes’ whispery singing voice is immediately recognizable to those few who have heard him perform before. But it's immediately clear to those in the room that it isn't just a song.

«The worlds keep turning, but I could be in them all»

It's a message in a bottle.

«I'm here, in this song, as I was»

As Hana and Noa firmly get their abilities in sync, the static is cleared up as best as possible and the remaining noise is simply too prolific and the signal too weak to clean up any more.

«This is the song I asked for»

Bits of La Mer briefly pop through from the other repressed transmission when it's signal strength spikes.

«Another me, in another time»

Recording devices hooked up to the machinery Warren has running indelibly save what may be the first interdimensional communication in recorded history.

«But I'll be back, if I can reach you with my mi…»

The signal starts to go out again, but not because it's weak, but because two more signals have started to overlap with it.

«…eiving this message then I am dead. I have seen the recording of what occurred at Mount Natazhat and I hopefully was able to compl…»

Richard’s voice, mashed together with Magnes’ music and all broadcasting on the same frequency.

«…ello? Hello? Is someone broadcast…»

All of the signals fading in and out, messages bouncing from different locations. Hana and Noa’s technopathic sense plucks their disparate locations, though a commonality begins to emerge, not all the broadcasts come from space.

«…ver forget, and she's here with me…»

They're all here.

“That’s dad,” is Adel’s immediate answer to Richard, though she’s listening to the song very carefully. “That’s the song they wrote for him. My moms…” In the future that didn’t happen. “Well, a version of it. Same tune different…” Lyrics. In some cases. A modified version, not just a cover. She had made sure they all knew the song after it came out, especially Magnes. If she had failed in bringing the band to notoriety, she at least succeeded in making sure that he knew one project that her moms had done mostly together. Three of them.

There’s tears welling up in her eyes, but she looks toward Noa with pure joy, because someone who had once left the world might one day find his way back.

As nothing bad happens, and things continue on, Gillian focuses more and more energy into the two technopaths, closing her eyes and watching those little strings of energy in her head filling those two different but similar pulsing lights. The anxiety in her head starts to fade, slightly, but still remains in the background. Because it could always get worse.

Alia meanwhile is using the software on her system and her skills to examine the signal that's been captured a different way: by examining the degree and clarity of the different sources as if it was a waveform itself.

It gives her something to do even if it is a low chance. Thank you, Rebel, for teaching the looking in odd places route.

"Yes!" Richard thrusts a fist in the air as the technopaths bring the signal in as clearly as they can, as the voice of Magnes comes over the speakers and the song fills the broadcasting studio, the once-murderer of futures crowing in vindication, "I fucking knew it, they called me crazy but I knew it, God bless you, Else Kjelstrom!"

He's grinning broadly at the speakers as he listens, leaning forward and interpreting, "They made it through the first string! They're at Pinehearst now… miles to go but they're almost half-way home…" Softer, as if they could hear him, "Just keep going, Liz, Magnes. We remember. We're waiting. You can— "

He breaks off as another signal breaks through, leaning sharply back in surprise at hearing his own voice. "E- Ezekiel? Is— " The next signal washes over his own voice coming over the speakers, and as he realizes what it's saying, he lunges for the mic.

"Someone hears us! Noa, Hana, isolate that signal, someone's receiving our broadcast! Warren, give us full power— " The microphone flicked on, voice urgent, "This is Richard— this is Richard Cardinal broadcasting, are you receiving? Repeat, this is Richard Cardinal, please respond."

Chances are, nobody in another world would recognize the name of Richard Ray, after all.

As the signal clears, Kaylee’s hands lift to cover her mouth, though she almost looks l she could be praying as the song comes through and Richard gives his opinion. “Then they did get out of that virus nightmare,” she says softly. “It worked. It actually worked.” Clearly meaning what was on the tape. She’d have to let Lynette and Mateo know.

Of course, when she hears her brother over the radio… though it isn’t really him. “Wh- what did he say?” Kaylee knows what he says, but it is hard to believe what she is hearing. “You think something slip through when you blew it— ?” That question is directed at her brother, though she never finishes it when he lunges for the mic.

Kaylee falls quiet then, glancing back at Luther to see how the man is handling all this new stuff.

When they ask for the signal to be boosted as much as possible, Warren reaches over for the heart monitor that seems to have waves of garbled visual static. Then he begins to turn knobs. One knob says LFO, which he turns, and while it seems to be making the signal worse at first, it soon begins to create a ridiculously clean tone. This feeds into OSC 1, which gets turned from geometrical shapes to a really weird shape.

Soon he flips a bunch of switches, and the heart monitor's shapes become significantly larger. There's multiple shapes that seem to rapidly bend or blur with the static, each shape being abruptly different to represent the different frequencies.

He picks up a bunch of colorful wires, plugging them into the machine attached beneath the heart monitor, plugging them into the various ports that then link to other devices, creating a really bizarre daisy chain of effects that somehow lead to the most optimal frequency he can possibly manage.

If someone asks him later if he accidentally invented a new form of modular synthesis based on radio bandwidth and low frequency oscillation, he'll most likely say 'I don't remember, I was having an argument with the other voices in my head at the time'.

"Mortimer, this is a faithful relationship, I absolutely refuse to look at her." he says, entirely out of context.

Anybody looking in Luther’s direction will note his continued lack of ease, especially when the radio signals are cleared up to the point they can actually hear voices over the waves. The touch from Kaylee to his arm merely translates the tension from inward to out. Luther cuts a short glance to her, a small shake of his head indicating his dislike.

But he turns back with Richard’s sudden lunge and attempt to communicate to whoever’s on the other side. “The fuck is he doing not using a callsign?” The security chief grimaces at the his boss’ use of a full name, the headshake amplified a bit more like Warren’s geometric shapes on the monitors.

Arms uncross, and Luther moves a hand to rest on the handle of the holstered pistol at his side, a glance spared to look out the open door of the bunker.

When Magnes’ voice comes through, Noa doesn’t recognize it for a moment — but the words, the words she knows, from Adel. From another time, one where Hana wouldn’t be standing next to her, working with her. Noa’s eyes open to connect with Adel’s gaze, and they fill with tears at the look in her fellow time traveler’s eyes — whatever else happens, that may make this experiment worth it.

She nods when Richard speaks, already working on it, reaching out with her ability to isolate the incoming signal and to boost the one being transmitted. Her eyes flutter closed again — normally she doesn’t do so but augmented, it seems easier to sense the different signals, to feel them in space without the stimulus from her vision complicating things.

Motionless in her place against the wall, Hana keeps most of her attention on the amplified signal she's feeding Noa, sparing only token attention for the excitement physically around her. Of all things, it's Warren's muttered comment that draws the most overt reaction, dark eyes cracking open to send a narrow-eyed, suspicious glance his way. That he's not looking is probably for the best all around.

After that, she closes her eyes again, and offers a quiet response to Luther's commentary. "Nothing standard about this procedure, and no telling if the window will last." Which is not the same as approval, but it's Richard's show; he can run the broadcast almost however he likes.

Inwardly, Tenzin offers its calculated projection for that window, then continues with its own analysis. Certainly this is the most unusual thing to happen for the purusha in quite some time.

As Alia examines the waveforms of the broadcast, she notices something about one of the weaker simultaneous signals that is anomalous. While the waveform is digital and taking in a step-like pattern when viewed up close, it appears to be a much larger broadcast of data than the message itself would require. Though she can't be certain due to its patchy quality, it looks like there's binary code being sent along with the audio message, a sense multi-threaded stream of data. But unless it can be refined, it's nearly impossible to tell what is trying to be sent.

At the same time, as Noa and Hana manage the signals Tenzin can see Alia’s examination of that data set by way of watching her ability interface with the radio station’s hardware. Tenzin, too, seems fragmentary hidden data encoded in the message that appears to have been sent by another Richard. Because of course he would.

«Richard who?»

The voice rackles over the speakers, volume fading in and out, lacking treble, sounding like an old AM Radio station that's barely in range. As Warren tries to clean it up, there's some fidelity to be gained, but the solar stork bombarding the planet isn't coming in predictable patterns, making compensating for the disruption challenging.

«Um, um, oh Gosh. This— my name’s Destiny? Oh good gosh. Director! Director!»

It took a while, but Richard recognizes the voice first. She sounds younger, somehow, but the woman on the other end of this broadcast is Odessa Price. Or… someone who sounds very similar to her.

«Director! We’ve got a br— »

There's a squelch of static, a crackle and a pop, and another signal briefly overlaps.

«…ering through the strings»

Magnes’ song.

«Following the song of the baby cardinal's mom»

The bass fades in and out, mixing with the other signal.

«…ardinal? Are you still th…»

Crackling, popping and sputtering.

«…ive into the universe's frequenc…»

Data from NASA satellites indicates that the strongest of the waves is incoming, and based on how the signals have been operating, there's a two to three minute window of what may be stable signal for these broadcasts rapidly approaching, depending on how long it takes for the ionized radiation to pass over the planet.

«…ello? Hel…»

Another crackle and a snap of audio popping loudly.

«…voice shouting let me in, let me ou…»

Then, as the radiation band strikes the Earth, as the charged particles are scattered across the ionosphere, the signals stabilize. Tenzin can see them all clearly now, the one strong broadcast of Magnes’ song, and two smaller and more faint broadcasts, one of a looping message from Richard with packets of data included, another a caller from another world.

«I don't think he's there anymore.» The speakers sputter. «But, director, he said his name was Richard Cardinal. Do… you know him?»

There is an audible, strangled gasp that emanates over the speakers.

With a smile offered to Noa, Adel continues to listen, though when the song cuts out she tries not to look disappointed. The song was enough. The song told them a lot. She’ll have to ask Alia for a copy of what they had managed to record later, but for the moment she leans wipes at her tears and leans forward to listen.

Gillian continues to seek out the technopaths in the area, pushing energy into them, not yet having given all of what she could, but only because she had no idea how long this broadcast would last. And she did not wish to be unconscious when it finished, either. Even then, she’s started to sweat a little, her hair at the scalp darkening just a little, and not because her blonde hair dye has grown out, either.

And Alia wasn't expecting the boost! For a brief moment her world gets stupidly loud as she clamps down and focuses on what she can ‘hear'. And yes, each stream is getting a separate copy made, along with splitting the data of off the one for later decoding in a clean isolated computer.

There's a line in that song that Richard would probably be very interested in, if he was following the metaphor, but his mind's running a million miles an hour at the moment - and he's only human, after all, he can't process everything at once. The voice's familiarity has him looking to Kaylee in momentary shock before he turns back to the radio equipment.

"This is Richard Cardinal broadcasting on one-twenty-six-point-two-two across the superstrings, attempting to reach the source of the Trenet signal," he says, making sure to carefully and clearly enunciate each word as he leans forward onto the console, fingers wrapped around the stem of the microphone, trusting everyone else to be playing their role perfectly - if he didn't, he wouldn't've asked them here. "We may not have more than a few minutes - if that - due to the unpredictability of the solar storm. Destiny, are you receiving?"

His kingdom for a heliokinetic expressive.

"Have we reached the Flooded Earth?"

Warren has been hard at work with making sure things are saved as well, with the signals about as good as they're going to get. He makes sure there's backups on top of backups, getting saved to numerous mediums and formats, just in case. Magnetic drives, solid state drives, hybrid drives, whatever he could dig up. If one format was somehow screwed by this storm or the bizarre phenomena, he was sure at least one other would make it.

"Warren Ray is here too!" he shouts, as if that'll somehow help.

Maybe everyone loves him in another reality and his presence will inspire faith! "Or wait, maybe I'm Mortimer over there…"

The shock Richard is showing, Kaylee returns with raised brows and a slight widening of her eyes. There is no doubt who it was, but different at the same time. And the mention of a Director, that actually has her brows lowering again.

Warren speaking up, gets an amused look from Kaylee. She doesn’t blame him, it’s exciting; but, she also settles a hand on his shoulder giving it a squeeze, her voice quiet. “Shhh, big brother. Let Richard do the speaking this time.” Her attention falling back to the radio and her other brother.

Noa reaches up to press fingers against her temples, brow knitting together with concentration and perhaps the pain of pushing her ability beyond its natural limitations. The job is made easier by the teamwork shared by both technopaths and Warren at the controls. She’s glad Hana decided to join them — the stabilizing is less work when shared.

Still, it’s not a permanent thing.

“I’d hurry. It probably won’t hold long,” she says quietly, feeling the effect of the solar storm on the signal without the need to read any of the NASA data. “Get your message out and don’t worry about etiquette, Ray.”

Noa never read Miss Manners or Dear Abby. Of course, there’s not a lot of etiquette manuals on how to communicate with another dimension.

In its own not-so-little digital world, Tenzin occupies itself with collecting data, preserving the signals in digital memory, applying itself to analysis of their features and the embedded content. It spins off a thread for more detailed analysis of the storm as well, in the interest of — hopefully — using that information to clean up the data. But it keeps all that to itself for the time being, the digital entity offering no distraction to the embodied audience while it goes about its work.

Two minutes can be an eternity, even as it seems like no time at all. Having returned to attentive silence, Hana listens to the chatter back and forth, between people in this room, between people in different dimensions. She focuses on keeping a solid mental grip on the signals, letting her own thoughts settle into meditative quiescence, hearing and remembering the discourse but not responding to it in the immediate moment.

For now, her task is simply to persist.

There's a crash on the other side of the broadcast. The noise of a chair clattering over and a yelped squeak from Destiny. Someone else, breathlessly, shouts into the microphone.

«Richard?» The woman’s voice is unrecognizable, filled with tension and emotion. «Oh my god it worked. Oh my god. I'm — » The static rises, requiring all three of the technopaths to tune the broadcast back in. « — //elieve it's you! I never gave up looking f — » once more a garbled hiss of static rises and falls. « — ve to find a way to get to you. I will, I promise you! I didn't abandon you!»

Outside, the sun has nearly set and the signal is rapidly fading.

«Richard, I'm so sorry. I'm so sorry I'm not there t — » There's a loud crackle and pop over the radio, and when it comes back there's a reverberated echo as the technopaths try to tune back in. « — ther loved you so much. We both did. Your sister Rianna is here, we’re — » clicks and pops fil the air. « — e’ve been trying to find you! Destiny, go get Ria! Get her down here right now!»

Among the other broadcasts, Alia can see all three signals dropping off and fading away. They're barely able to receive anything now.

«Richard, listen to me carefu — »

« — pe is important, and when the particles colli — »

« — equency is what we were missing. You need a baseline to orient the devi — »

« — ridge between both windows to make a do — »

« — ove yo — »

Then there is nothing but static. The sun has set, and the solar storm has diminished enough that the signals can no longer be received.

Alia looks at the speakers even as she tries with everything she had to keep it tuned for a moment longer, then just sighs as she lets go of the energy, the power. She has a lot to clean up and look somewhere safe. For now though, she… has tears on her face. Even as her hand comes down in frustration. Wordless frustration. She looks towards Richard with a worried expression.

Once signals clear up with audible voices, Luther turns back to listen in. He tenses visibly upon picking out the voice of Odessa "Destiny" Price, a look darting from the radio speakers to Richard, back to the equipment. The man doesn't interrupt the process, though he leans in to listen more intently to the whole conversation as with the others.

When the signal finally fades off, Luther straightens. He looks from one Ray to the next - Warren, Kaylee, and finally… Richard. The Raytech security chief swallows thickly.

"Who the hell are you, Richard?"

As a new voice comes over the microphone, Richard pulls back in surprise — not because someone else just cut in, but because it's not the person he thought might. He expected Edward, quite reasonably, but this is a voice he doesn't know.

They seem to know him, though.

The words that spill over the broadcast, almost stumbling over each other in their haste, turn his complexion several shades closer to white, his knuckles paling where he grips the microphone. "Michelle…?" It's barely a whisper, his eyes widening as she goes on.

Then he's leaning in, urgent, almost desperate, "Mi— you're breaking up, you— we can't hear— the solar storm is starting to— " A frantic look to Warren, "Can we increase, the power, clear this up, we can't lose them— " No technology, no ability can control the whims of the sun, though, and he knows that.

Nothing but static. Nothing but white noise hissing over the speakers as he stares at them blankly with wet eyes for a few heartbeats, not even responding to Luther's question. Finally he speaks to someone who can't hear him through the void between worlds, voice barely audible, uncertain in a way few have heard him.

"…Mom…?"


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