A Forest Grows More Than Trees


barney_icon.gif marlowe_icon.gif richard_icon.gif

Scene Title A Forest Grows More Than Trees
Synopsis Marlowe meets with Ray and Barney to propose an alliance of their companies with similarly aligned goals.
Date May 29, 2018

Raytech Branch Office, Conference room

An inverted glass pyramid framed in steel bars descends from the ceiling to the floor in the middle of this room, surrounded by a long black tables and matching chairs; small consoles are set along the sides of the table, allowing interaction with the 'holographic' display system, allowing images to be displayed in apparent three-dimensions within the room's centerpiece. There's also a flat television on one wall, mostly used for teleconferencing.

The windows can be polarized to opaque with a simple touch control, providing natural light or privacy as desired, and a cabinet beneath the television holds a variety of supplies - clipboards, paper, notebooks, pens and the like.

A mid-morning meeting has been set on the schedule with a visit from a representative of Yamagato Industries. Specifically, Marlowe Terrell, an engineer who's worked closely with the company's head tech director, Hachiro Otomo. The woman who appears at the front lobby doesn't exactly look the stereotypical part; hair left down in light waves covers the strap of a shoulder sling that keeps her wrapped left arm mostly in place. The sling just happens to match the material of her black dress shirt. Her pants are a bright cerulean blue, flowing almost like a skirt with their wide leg cut, patterned in such a way that it seems to catch the light with geometric shapes. Hoop earrings and a few metallic rings and bracelets on her free hand make up the accessories. Well, that and a satchel for her files. Once she's been shown into the building by security escort, she's looking around all over, taking in the building's construction and layout with interest. It's her first time in Raytech. She's making the most of it.

There are signs of security being improved all over; some construction is visible around the foyer, and some door entries are clearly being equipped with RFID locks - or something similar, at least. A security guard accompanies her on her way through the building to the conference center, polite but firm on where she's allowed to go on her way through the building.

When they reach the room in question, the guard opens the door for her but remains outside on watch.

The holographic display in the center of the room shows the Raytech logo in three dimensions, slowly spinning, likely an 'idle state' for the device. As she enters, Richard Ray rises from his chair in a black suit, black shirt - red tie. The company colors on display, a smile curving warmly to his lips at the sight of the engineer. "Ms. Terrell," he greets, "Please, come in, have a seat. A pleasure to have you here."

Barney is dressed in blue too! Though his is not as bright of a blue. His blue is vibrant, but a darker color of blue as well. Though there is a baby blue vest on underneath his suit jacket. And a bright colorful blue tie under that. When Marlowe first enters Barney is talking excitedly about speed of… vegetable growth? It takes him a moment to realize that Ray's attention has moved. His mouth moves a bit though no sound comes out as he realizes Ray isn't paying attention, then Barney's head shifts, tracking along Ray's line of sight to spot Marlowe. Barney's eyes widen and he hops up out of his chair, then pauses as Ray greets the engineer. There's a soft huff from Barney as he regains some of his composure and wobbles his head up and down a few times as if to affirm Ray's greeting, then he retakes his seat and fiddles with the papers in front of him, straightening them up.

Marlowe makes no secret of the fact she's looking at the ongoing construction. It's a habit. But once inside the conference room, she's back to full attention. There's an appreciative glance over the central holographic display, and she crosses the room to offer her good hand for polite shakes. "Mister Ray, good morning, and looking sharp," she says to the CEO. Barney also gets an amused smile and look up at the man in blue. "And you must be Mister Sorenson. Thank you for meeting with me. Oh, and please, Marlowe is just fine." Once she's taken a seat, she extracts a tablet from her satchel. It just happens to have a red sparkling casing. She doesn't find it unusual.

"Firstly, please accept on behalf of Yamagato, our condolences for your recent loss. Recent events have been… very tragic." Her expression is serious, a genuine disturbance to it. But she's keeping it as cool as possible.

"Thank you," Richard says with a faint, genuinely grateful smile as he sinks back into his chair, "Ms. Davignon-Mortlock was a dear friend as well as an executive, and we're all feeling her loss. Richard is fine, if we're going to be informal— and please, accept our condolences as well for that cowardly attack on your facilities. I hope that Ms. Nakamura is on the mend; I knew her brother once upon a time and he lent me a great deal of assistance." It's hard to say that Hiro was a friend - their relationship was too complicated for that. "I hope as well that you find the responsible parties. If there's any assistance we can offer in doing so, don't hesitate to ask."

Barney nods his head a couple times, beard wagging up and down with the head movements. He reaches out a hand and takes Marlowe's if she extends it. "A pleasure Mi… Marlowe." He retakes his seat, though there's a sad look on his face at the mention of the loss that the company suffered. "Our condolences as well on the losses suffered by your own company. Tragic." And he means it, it's definitely not lip services, he's genuinely saddened by the loss of life. "Oh, and Barney for me." Barney adds on, a little late to the game on the whole informality bit. There's a few blinks from Barney when Richard mentions having known Hiro. That's something Barney didn't know. There are a lot of things Barney doens't know.

Handshakes are given and received warmly and settling in, Marlowe also nods to their condolences. "Both of our offices are recovering, as is, well, everybody," she says, a momentary glance cast down to her injured arm. "But thank you for the offer. The investigations are ongoing on all possible angles." A steadying breath later, Marlowe summons up a new smile. "But, before we get too dark and dour. Allow me to also compliment you on your campus out here. Polishing up Jackson Heights is no easy task, but it looks like you've got good progress. Seems like you're in the middle of some upgrades, too. Hope that's not disturbing the work too much?" She glances over from Ray to Barney at that note.

"Security upgrades. After recent events, we found them… advisable," Richard allows in rueful tones, leaning back a bit in his chair and folding both hands together over his chest, "As for the campus— largely that's my sister's work, Valerie thought that by positioning ourselves here we could better work to improve the district and its people. We have a number of neighborhood outreach programs in the works, as well as our farming project that Barney here is heading up, of course."

Barney doesn't know anything about investigating people who have done bad things, so he stays quiet on that subject, his fingers idly fiddling with the papers on the table in front of him, papers he's already straightened mroe than once. More than a few times. He closes the folder that the papers are sitting in. Barney looks over at Richard as he answers the questions about whether their work is being disturbed, and with that question answered Barney looks back and bobs his head once in a nod, though thinking about the farming project brings thoughts of Jaiden up, and Remi's death, and Barney's features fall a little bit. "Work is progressing." He affirms in a rumbling murmur as his eyes find the folder in front of him again and he flips it open, fidgeting with it. "I hope that the attacks on the park haven't impeded your own work too much Marlowe, and the work of Yamagato Industries. You all have done a lot of good work for the city as well."

"Necessary," Marlowe remarks to the 'advisable' note with a wry quirk of her lips. Understandable, too. Barney's well wish on her work progress gets a brighter smile. "Oh you know, the work doesn't stop just because we hit a snag. If anything, we're busier than ever to make sure our goal deadlines are met, and projects succeed." She glances between the men, an encouraging smile given to them both. "And that's why I'm here. Yamagato is all about improving the Safe Zone. Rebuilding New York, not just a dream. And we want to help others in their rebuilding efforts, including yours." She taps a few points on her tablet screen.

"Tell me about your farming project? What sort of infrastructure do you hope to create to sustain it over long-term? Do you need staff? Real estate? Finances?"

"I know that we've acquired a few city blocks here in the Heights," says Richard, "That we plan to use for the initial project — a proof-of-concept as it were, to hopefully get things moving. Aside from our technological resources we also have an agrokinetic on staff, and we've contracted with a hydrokinetic; the project doesn't rely on either, but they should be able to give it a good jumpstart."

Evolved don't live forever, after all, as recent events may remind one.

"I'm certainly not going to turn down help, either - depending on details - as our company doesn't have the resources of yours. This is quite the investment for us," he admits, looking to Barney, "Barney here has more details. What can you tell us?"

Barney is not a CEO or an executive. He has absolutely no idea what knowledge he can and can't give out, so he doesn't. He clams up, in a fairly obvious fashion, eyes casting over to Richard, then back to Marlowe, lips pressed together. He is not a subtle person, nor is he at all good at lying. So his best bet is just to shut up and say nothing. There's a sad look on his face at the mention of the hydrokinetic. One Jaiden. Who is currently grieving the loss of his wife. The mention of the agrokinetic perks him up though, and he sure looks like he's got a lot more questions for Richard on that particular subject, but he doesn't ask them, he contains himself. Barely. There's a soft cough from him, and one hand lifts to smooth his beard down after all the looking left and right and nodding he's done. "Well…" Barney doesn't know the company's finances, so he actually doesn't know how big of a strain the project is putting on Raytech right now. So that leaves him a little flummoxed for how to proceed from there. "I think… those would be better questions for Miss Valerie? She has uhhh a lot more upper level knowledge than I do." IE he has no clue what he should and shouldn't say to someone from another company.

Marlowe taps and swipes busily at her tablet screen, even one handed she appears comfortable and practiced. Fast. She doesn't even look at the screen the whole time, glancing up with the mentions of their outlined staff. That pauses her fingers, perks up the woman's carefully shaped brow. "Really? That's very resourceful of you to have found Expressives. Both abilities will be quite helpful."

After the pause, Marlowe lightly pushes aside the tablet screen so she can devote a more attentive gaze to the Raytech men. "So. I'm not the legal department or even the finance department," she starts on a light beat, "my aim today was to come and extend a hand. Our goals align. Our companies, we want to rebuild the city to a better place. We want to help. It might be only fair you know what I can do, too. Do you have any questions for me?"

"It's quite alright, Barney," Richard offers the big man a faint, wry smile, "We have an excellent relationship with Yamagato, and this isn't exactly a classified project. As she says, our goals align here… both of us want to raise this city back to its former glory." A twitch of his lips, wider, "Preferably, even better. I spent some time in some unpleasant neighborhoods back in the day."

He gestures a bit with one hand, "Staff-wise we're hoping to hire from the local neighborhoods; most of the people in the Heights aren't exactly financially secure, and it'll help with local goodwill and building trust in our company. The real strain right now has been the cost of the real estate we're purchasing and, well, the cost of the actual set-up. Since we're doing this outside of an actual contract, the initial investment is heavy. We have the tech, but the capital's getting a bit strained, and we don't have the industrial facilities to make it easier. What help can you offer?"

Barney continues to stay tight lipped despite Marlowe being more friendly and open. He wants to help people, but he also really doesn't want to get fired. He likes his job. But as Richard offers reassurances that all is okay he settles down. He lets Richard speak, not piping up till the CEO is done. "I couldn't speak to the financial strain as I'm not privy to the company's finances but I know that work has been moving along steadily. We are looking to hire as much as we can from Jackson Heights. Employ the populace and feed them. Better yet let them feed themselves. Teach a man how to fish and all that. The property is being cleared and inspected and prepped for construction though actual construction hasn't begun quite yet. We have several Expressives helping with work on this project and they have been absolutely invaluable. I'm hoping that shows some goodwill as well. When people find out that they're eating because Expressive people helped build the farm that's feeding them?" Barney is an optimist, he wants to believe that people will be happy and be less hateful. "We have the real estate though. Construction is currently the biggest obstacle. Getting a hold of construction equipment is neither easy nor cheap in the current environment here in the city. Most of the construction equipment is already contracted to the government for their many projects. What little isn't is booked for quite some time. So we're having to look at bringing people in from well outside of New York, back towards the Midwest. Which will mean paying for housing and food and everything else while they're here building. The farm itself will employ both Hydroponics and Aeroponics. The technology for both is being improved upon by our best." Of course, Barney doesn't know that Raytech's best is a barely sane almost destroyer of the world.

Listening with genuine interest, Marlowe nods slowly to the explanation of Raytech's stance and progress. "I see. And it's commendable you're taking on such a task. A huge risk, but the payoff is worth it. In the trust of people, in the economic and infrastructure stability of the neighborhood. A forest grows more than trees."

After another beat, she reaches over to tap on the tablet and looks expectantly to the middle holographic display. The Raytech logo floating there dissolves into a 3-dimensional terrain map of Jackson Heights, Raytech's campus focused on the edge. Marlowe holds up her hand before any alarmed looks might be shot her way. "I asked for the guest intranet login. This is for presentation purposes only." Shooting them a quick smile of reassurance, she goes on. "You stated earlier you had some blocks purchased to act as a proof-of-concept. I think that's an excellent start. Yamagato has a prototype robot we mean to test as well, in purposes of infrastructure and architectural constructions. Essentially, to go where backhoes and bulldozers might not be as prudent, but also to support construction vehicles and personnel. It could be a good way to get started while you wait for staff to be cleared."

With a checking glance to both, Marlowe settles first on Ray. "If you're willing, Richard, we can join forces on this. Yamagato has vested interest in seeing such projects bear fruit - if you pardon the pun. We can provide financial backing, contract assistance, our engineers and R&D teams are all ready." Her eyes gleam widely, focused. "I'll even lend my own hand and experience. Mr. Otomo had asked me to reach out. He really believed in this project too when he heard about it."

The more in-depth details from Barney brings an approving nod from Richard Ray, and then he's looking up as the logo's blinks out - and the map appears. The reassurance brings a smile twitching to his lips, and he nods over to her, one hand reaching over to the panel on his side of the table to tap at a few things. A frown, and he taps again, before finally managing to bring a marker up to appear on the holographic display, hovering over the area that they've purchased.

"I'm certainly willing, although of course— " A wry smile, "— I hate to ask this, but despite our shared altruistic goals we are still businesses. What will Yamagato want in return?"

Barney certainly looks alarmed when Marlowe seemingly hijacks their table like that. He looks from the hologram, to Richard, them back to the hologram, his surprise evident. His hand goes for the pocket of his suit jacket, no doubt intending to go for his phone and make sure that's all that Marlowe is doing and has access to. But then Richard isn't panicing at all, so Barney slooooowly slides his phone back into his pocket, not at all subtle like. There's another light cough from him and he straightens his jacket and sits up a bit straighter in his chair. Then the talk is moving on to negotiation and offering of assistance and the like so Barney goes quiet, mostly looking at his hands, or at the holographic display.

"That," Marlowe answers Ray with something of a softer smile, "Is something I'll have to follow up on." She looks to the display of the Raytech logo hovering over the area thoughtfully, then back to the pair. "I'm a bit of the brains, mostly the brawn." She smiles amusedly. "All about the beauty." Fingers tap along the tablet screen and the display shifts dynamically around the Raytech logo floating over the area, layering a carpet of green architecture, glass and metal in futuristic curved design concepts. It looks like Yamagato Park conceptually, pleasant environments and clean.

"But if we're going to be real about it," she says sitting back in the chair, "you're probably going to get asked to partner up. Shared investments, shared profits. Both companies get to look good for the people. But. That's because you're actually doing good." She notes with a nod to the quiet giant sitting nearby.

"I'm not one of the bigwigs, either. Though, I'm not a stranger to kicking up a fuss and getting it noticed," Marlowe adds, fingers playing along the tablet screen. "I'd love to work with your plans of hydroponic and aeroponic system layouts, later if that's still your jam."

"It's always good when the image represents the reality," Richard replies with a wry smile to the mention about doing good, his head tilting in a bit of a nod, "As much as I'd rather complete this project on our own— it'd be quite profitable as well as good for the image we just talked about— I think we could come to some sort of agreement, if just to make it more certain that it is completed. We'll have to sit down at the table with the right people and talk about the details, of course."

Then he chuckles, "We can certainly see about that, although you'd need to sign the usual NDA paperwork and the like."

Barney definitely looks pensive at the thought of partnering up. Of someone else having a say on the project from outside of Yamagato. But he remains quiet, just following the conversation between Richard and Marlowe. He shifts in his chair a little bit, once more fidgeting with the folder, but mostly he just stays quiet.

Marlowe laughs brightly in return and a few more taps of the tablet sees the display in the middle of the screen revert back to the slowly spinning, larger Raytech logo as before. After a beat, she flips the tablet case over and slips the item back into her satchel. "Non-comps, NDAs, the usual red tape," she bobs her head like it's not a problem. "Like I said, I'm here to help. And here to work. How about this: let's set a new meeting, once all that paperwork's ready, and meet on-site? I've always been better at working with hands-on materials."

By the same motion, Marlowe slips out a short block of blank steel, the sort that would be put through a machine or press. "And please allow me to leave you with a small token of thanks for having this meeting with me." She slides the block onto the table top, and shortly after her words, blue-white sparks of energy encircle the piece of metal as it seems to melt and transform. The woman's brown eyes shift to gold as she looks down to will its shift into a plague with the embossed version of the Raytech logo, beside it Yamagato's logo, underneath both the neighborhood name of Jackson Heights and '2018'. There's a space left, which fills in with 'PROJECT NAME' in nice lettering. When Marlowe lifts her hand from the transformed plaque, the sparks dissipate and her eyes shift back to brown when she looks back to the men. "There. Not bad, you think?"

Ray's hands rest on the table's edge, and he pushes himself up to his feet. "I think we can do that," he admits, "I need to talk to the rest of the board - and the project manager - privately to discuss things in any case. I haven't had a chance to get out to the site myself, and I wouldn't mind an excuse for that."

That sudden sparking of energy then brings both eyebrows up, a grin tugging up at the corner of his lips. "Well," he muses, "Isn't that a good trick… I like it. I hope we'll be able to put it up."

Barney is of course quite fascinated by the display of power when it comes to the metal bar, and though he might not be a scientist, he can think of a million ways that ability would be incredibly useful. And though his eyes are whide he doesn't gush out his normal tirade of questions about her ability and what it's limits are and potential applications. She's an engineer, he's quite sure she's thought of anything he could. So he stands a few moments after Ray does and nods his head. "It was a pleasure meeting you Marlowe. Hopefully we can work together in the future." A broad and honest smile from the big viking. "Trick? That's… amazing I mean she could…" He pauses, blushing a little and lets out a gruff little huff of air. "I mean yes. Very impressive."

"Thank you, I like it too. Certainly comes in handy when I don't have any Krazy glue," Marlowe says with a laugh as she rises to her feet too, giving Barney a victorious smile as well now that she's finally gotten him to do the same. "But yes! My people, your people. We got this project thing, and we'll get it off the ground in short order." She steps for the door, waiting for the security escort to return before she leaves with them. "Gentlemen. Keep in touch."

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License