A Polite Invasion


alia_icon.gif asi_icon.gif richard_icon.gif

Scene Title A Polite 1nvasion
Synopsis Asi decides a meeting is necessary with the Raytech CEO. After letting herself in, she waits patiently for that opportunity.
Date October 18, 2018

Raytech NYCSZ Branch Office

Immediately following the October 18th Raytech-Everyone meeting

A turn is taken toward the restrooms instead of the front door upon exit from the conference room. The hallway light beyond where guests are intended to go are dimmed, but it doesn't deter the rogue meeting attendee. She breathes a short sigh from her nose as the cameras swivel to follow, hands in the pocket of her leather jacket as she heads for the elevator bank.

A look is given to the summon button before she withdraws a hand from her pocket, hovering it over the panel before pressing down with her middle finger. The button lights, and the lift is called. A tilt of her head ensures it continues to that floor despite an attempt to recall it. When the doors 'ding' open, Asi steps inside, swiveling on the heel of her boot and looking back down the hall until the doors idle closed.

"I need to have a word with Mr. Ray." she announces to the camera in the corner of the lift. The hand she'd used to call is gestured with conversationally, toward the panel of buttons. "Now, I had planned to wait in his office. The trouble, is I'm not certain which floor it's on." Her brow arches. "To avoid any misunderstandings around that… perhaps you could assist me?"

Several patient minutes in the closed elevator later, that time spent without moving from her spot in the center of the lift, it begins to move under a remotely-executed command and Asi slides her hands back into the pockets of her jacket. "Your assistance is greatly appreciated." she says into the air. "I hope to not take up too much of his time. But … This required an immediate follow-up."

He'd brought up Kimiko Nakamura by name, after all.

A large double-window along one wall of Richard Ray's office allows natural light to spill in throughout the office and provides an excellent view of the green roof on the lower floor of the building, the flowered garden spreading out between rows of solar panels.

The walls of the office are in slate grey, the carpeting on the floor matching, and the furniture is all in black glass, metal, and leather - but the modern starkness is offset by the tall potted plants that grow along the side of the room opposite the window. The CEO's desk is a broad affair in black glass with a video feed and touch-screen built into the surface of the desk itself, the non-interactive portions of the desk decorated sparsely with a plastic 'in' and 'out' box, a framed picture of Elisabeth Harrison, and an old onyx chess king set beside it like reminders of times long past. A chess set is set off to one side of the desk, stopped in mid-game. On the floor half-behind the desk is a box lined with soft fabrics, a stray cat toy on the floor beside it.

Standing by the window with a dark expression, Asi overlooks the rooftop garden illuminated somewhat by other lights on the building. She stands in dim lighting, her hands still in her pockets as before.

As Richard was likely informed by his security team, Asi had approached his desk only to look over the chessboard, a white bishop piece removed and observed … and then placed down one play ahead of where it had been previously. Since, she's navigated to the window, waiting patiently and silently.

It likely surprises no one that Alia is only a handful of steps behind Asi, and perhaps right in step with security. Which makes the fact she's behind at all interesting. Seems she stopped by her office to grab a large back pack, which is slung over one shoulder. Alia however raises an eyebrow in amusement. “Told him old relay elevator had advantages.” Dry wit, apparently. Alia takes a seat.

“There are literally six people on the planet alive that I know of that the old relay elevators would protect us against, Alia,” says Richard with a roll of his eyes as he walks into the office, one hand rubbing against the bridge of his nose as he ensures the door is properly closed and secured behind him, “And we know all of them. If I start making decisions like that we’ll have to— well. Build an Ark.”

There’s some irony in that, isn’t there?

“Asi Tetsuyama, alias ON1— ” A gesture to the woman that came in with him as he walks to the desk, “— Alia Chavez, D.Crypt, my information security expert.”

Dropping down to sit, he leans back in the chair and raises both eyebrows, “So what can I do for you?”

An eyebrow arches as ON-1 is spoken out loud. "I can't say I would have expected you to know exactly who I was, Mr. Ray, but this night has been interesting in more ways than one." For the moment, Asi looks at a point somewhere between the CEO and his security expert, though her words are clearly directed at him.

"I would like to know why a former associate of Adam Monroe would invoke Ms. Nakamura's name so casually, so pointedly, if you don't mind." Her hands slide slowly from her pockets to rest by her sides.

Alia raises an eyebrow, “Former, good word. Associates, though.” Alia seems to be playing the poker face… until the windows black out to be projection screens showing frownie faces. “Though wouldn't ask him for references. Quit via sword is different.” No, Alia does not explain that line.

“As for knowing…” Alia shrugs. “Personal hobby after got locked in a box made up of a few Kay of RAM, a 486, and a battery.” Alia does shiver at that memory. “Personal request for you, later. Personal, not business, project.”

“ON1, D.Crypt, Wireless, Malware, Malice, V.Iris,” Richard ticks off six names on his fingers, eyebrows lifting a little as the sudden activation of the smartwindows darkens the room by degrees, “The six of you are the only people on the planet capable of independently firing nuclear ICBMs if you particularly felt like it, so I rather keep an eye on you all when I can.”

“Regarding Monroe,” he gestures dismissively with a hand, “I haven’t seen the man in nearly ten years, and he’s a bloody sociopathic Evolved supremacist at that. I’m certainly not an associate. And as for Ms. Nakamura…”

One shoulder lifts in a shrug, “Her brother and I were— well-acquainted, and her father was one of the Company’s Founders. She may well have information regarding this— situation.”

The expression on Asi's face implies that bombing anyone is not a thought she's ever entertained before. "Perhaps. But I'd like to consider myself the sort to stop such a tragedy instead of inciting one. Your associate might feel the same."

At that point, she finally looks toward Alia to nod stiffly. "Later." she agrees in regards to the request.

The conversation turning back to the ancient Evolved causes her to let out thoughtful 'hm', her feet shifting as she takes a step closer to the two. After considering them both closely, it seems like she takes them at their word at no longer being affiliated with Adam Monroe. 'Quitting by the sword' is a hell of a way to quit, after all.

"While it's possible Ms. Nakamura might know something, consider direct communication with her out of the question." She considers it for a moment before shaking her head. "… Without specific questions." Asi amends, visibly mulling the thought of reaching out.

"What would you want to ask her?" she asks carefully.

“Specific case, -have- stopped such. Twice.” She grumbles about the qualifiers. Alia it seems is frustrated by governments that refuse to learn. “All unknown, once.” Alia frowns, thoughtfully.

She leaves awkward questions of people she doesn't know for someone who at least sort of does.

“I certainly hope so, but that doesn’t mean I don’t try and keep track of people with that ability,” says Richard in dry tones, one shoulder lifting in a shrug, “Not that I have the sort of resources the Company did, or anything like that, I just pay attention to news broadcasts, blog mentions, press releases, that sort of thing.”

A hand drops to the desk, fingertips drumming lightly. “Well, I certainly can’t go to Japan to meet with her, so you’re right there,” he allows wryly, “I would want to tell her that I was a friend of Xiulan Song’s, and ask if her father’s records had anything about the entity, about the whereabouts of Caspar Abraham, about Adam Monroe, or about Project Tartarus.”

Asi's expression is deadpan in reply to Richard's dry response. Press releases, hm?

She walks past them both in a single-path, slow pace across the office floor as she considers the questions. "If all memory of that entity had been eliminated, I feel comfortable in saying all record of it may have as well. I would not hold your breath there."

Asi pauses for a moment faced away from them both. Hands coming to clasp behind her back, she starts to turn on her heel to consider both of her hosts out of the corner of her eye. "As for Monroe…" she admits passively, attention shifting to the blackened emoji windows briefly as though it helps her make her decision.

"Monroe, as I understand it, has developed an unusual interest in monitoring solar activity."

Her brow arches slightly as she faces the two again to explain, "A remarkable sum - millions of dollars - has been siphoned away toward solar research, building satellites and /radio transceivers of all things. It all seemed very tied together somehow." There's a dry shift in her tone as she adds, "… Didn't see how until your meeting this evening. Now, I wonder if he is not investigating that entity."

"To what end, though?" The question appears to be just as much as for them as for herself. "If he fears that entity, why seek it out? Knowing of its impending return is one thing, but with how intense his investigations are… I can't fathom one would spend that much effort unless they didn't intend on something more, as well." Her look darkens again as she thinks that over.

Alia frowns as she considers that, and the very things that Raytech had done not too long ago. “Sun. Everything back to the sun.” She has a frown on her face. “Feel like I’m missing bad joke.”

“Of course he is…” Richard breathes out a heavy sigh, one hand coming up to pinch the bridge of his nose, “…well, that’s the confirmation I was hoping not to ever get. He must remember everything. One way or another, he’s broken through Caspar’s redaction.”

He grimaces, hand sweeping out to one side, “Any increase in solar radiation hitting the magnetosphere creates conditions in which the superstrings can briefly overlay upon one another; the effect of the Looking Glass is merely an artificial means of agitating the magnetosphere and focusing the breach to a single triangular window, technically, although it’s difficult to contain it. Michelle’s activation had— well, I mentioned the sixteen people moved over from one world to another already.”

“During these periods, one can feasibly communicate with the other superstrings via radio signals, although there may be a risk of contacting the entity in the process,” he admits, “We have a radio tower set up monitoring the affected frequencies, but I imagine Praxis has managed to build much more impressive facilities…”

A pause, “I’d love to find out the details about his facilities, actually. I might be able to piggyback off his technology.” Yes, he just suggested theft of corporate secrets. “What I wouldn’t give for my own space program to get a satellite of my own in the air… mn. I may need to visit Colobanth.”

“As for Adam…” A faint but humorless smile, brows lifting, “I told you that he thought it was the devil. What I didn’t tell you is that he also believes it was the first of all of the Evolved… and he may be right. I didn’t say he was opposed to it. During the culmination of Project Tartarus I believe he actually attempted to stop them from containing the Entity.”

It's a lot to take in, even for someone who was capable of bringing new information to the table. Asi gives a sympathetic nod to Alia, her arms coming to a fold before her. It appears she shares the same disdain for being just one step out of the loop. It felt like here, as with her investigation, everything was staring her right in the face … if she could just put the pieces together in the correct order, at the correct angle.

"So you're aware of Monroe's status as the influencer behind Praxis Industries." she infers. "I'd be interested in knowing how you came across that information." She seems wholly unperturbed at the open longing to get an eye on Praxis' inner workings. It might even be a shared desire, though one with different motivations.

One hand lifts up from her folded arms, palm upturned. "Let me see if I follow the rest - Caspar Abraham's power is alteration of memories. This 'Project Tartarus' is a codename for the mass redaction of memories surrounding the so-called Entity. So far so good?" Her hand turns back to her forearm and tucks in as she admits, "Colobanth isn't a location familiar to me."

"Some additional context may be necessary from my end to explain my continued interest in this." Her brow arches curiously, looking more to Alia this time instead of Richard. "My position here in the United States is … unique. Are you aware of the circumstances that have brought me here to New York?"

Alia has a dryly amused look, “If we, potentially scary, Adam, terrifying.” Alia’s obviously hitting her upper bounds for language based communication it seems after the long day of both work then the meeting now this. She takes a moment to compose her thoughts, then tries again. “Keep track of Monroe and his, high priority.” She pauses a moment and looks at Asi. “You, here, something -big-, technical, over at Park. Sensitive, if not hiring out to others. And really big, if you out of home country.” Alia isn’t lacking in common sense it seems… it also seems she’s not been poking around inside of places she shouldn’t be nearly as much as one would have suspected lately.

“I’m not here to make money, Ms. Tetsuyama,” Richard says as he shakes his head slowly, “Raytech Industries is just a way for us to try and help out the world that’s been damaged by all these… shadow wars that we’ve been fighting. I deal in information and strategic analysis, attempting to identify threats to the world before they do too much damage. Apollo was only one of many operations; one of the biggest and the one that most directly involved the government, but let me assure you that it was far from the only one.”

His hands spread a touch, “You were close. Tartarus was the project to stop the Entity— it’s an ancient prison in Greek mythology, where the Gods threw their predecessors. It’s not easy to kill something that… powerful.”

“I’m not aware, no,” he admits, “I was surprised to hear you were here, honestly.”

There's a single nod that Asi affords to Alia's explanation, looking satisfied by it. She's not wrong, after all. "I was brought in by request to investigate the bombing that occurred earlier this year at the Yamagato Fellowship Center. Discover the who, the why, and the how behind the tragedy. Barring any terrorist organizations taking credit, it made the most sense to suspect corporate espionage. And why not Praxis? What best way to weaken Yamagato's foothold in the States, and gain ground for Praxis, than to destroy the competitor's leadership?" She sighs as she goes through the motion of explaining. She must feel as though her theory is rather obvious after having gone over the details as many times as she has. "While Yamagato is simply an assignment, as each thread is pulled, the unraveling reveals more intrigue than truth."

A look is given to the two, one that's resigned. "I suspect the attacker had inside information. I suspect Ms. Nakamura remains a target. I am at an impasse as to who can be trusted." That she says as much implies that, even reluctantly, she must have some degree of it for them both. "Understanding that Praxis - that Monroe - is working toward this much larger goal … While not impossible for it all to be unrelated, the possibility of it not being so prevents me from sitting on this information quietly."

She tips her head in Richard's direction, a polite acknowledgement of something he'd said. "Your information and viewpoint is unique. Apply it and tell me what else you see happening here." The look is shared to Alia as well. "Lean back and observe the whole."

“You can trust Monica Dawson and Marlowe Terrell at least, of Yamagato’s people that I know of,” Richard states, both hands folding on the desk’s edge as he leans forward over them, gaze fixed upon the other woman’s face, “Additionally, I’ve provided Yamagato with the plans for the SEER device; assuming they successfully build one, they can use it to communicate with Otomo in his comatose state, and he may have additional information regarding the attack.”

The ghost of a smile touches his lips, then, and he adds, “I may have… some information that might help explain the why also, but I didn’t tell you if anyone asks— if you catch my meaning?”

Not exactly the answer Asi had been looking for, but the information provided elicits a nod of interest. "Otomo Hachiro would have seen the bomber, assuming he remembers anything from the moments before it went off." she agrees. While the chances were slim, it was better than nothing.

There's a pause as she files the information away, seeming to consider saying more on that subject for a moment … at least until Richard mentions his additional offering. "Should anything come of it, I wouldn't betray your trust here. Sources deserve protection with this case, just as they would with any other legal or journalistic one." Her delivery is deadpan.

“The SEER will work— it’s a proven design— the question is if there’s damage to the man’s mind,” admits Richard, nose wrinkling slightly, “Hopefully there hasn’t been. But— ”

“You said to observe the whole. You’re missing a very important piece that, I suspect, you need to have to look at this conflict between Yamagato and Praxis properly…” He leans back, drawing his hands back from the desk and folding them behind his head, “…which is that the previous host of the Entity was named Nisatta.”

One brow raises, “So is this Yamagato against Praxis, really? Or Adam against Nisatta?”

Alia leans back and processes the names and files them away. Some of this -is- new to her. Or at least, new enough that it isn’t familiar yet. Then she raises an eyebrow as she considers the request.”… if knew about entity, seeking Expressive hosts, then…” Alia’s eyes narrow as her own research, long past done. “… Evo Flu. Shanti. Reduce numbers to reduce draw?” She says it in a tone that betrays that she’s feeling -sickened- even thinking about that.

It takes a lot to actively sicken Alia these days. Apparently someone finally found it!

"If Kam Nisatta were the target, why was the bomb dropped at Otomo's feet?" Asi asks slowly, still processing. Her look is severe, eye contact almost broken as she stands to lose herself in thought. A host. The Entity required a host. She's grown still.

"If it were an attack on her, why did she walk away from it, and Egami Kin did not? Looking at it shrewdly, she gained from the attack. She was promoted to acting CEO." She sounds uncertain even so, reaching for her pocket again to slide her phone free. After the lock screen is thumbed away, Alia's words make her pause and glance at her harshly out of the corner of her eye.

"Absolutely not."

“Saying Adam may have done on purpose. Not approval. Never approval.” Alia clarifies, briefly, with a -great- deal of terror to her voice. Then frowns at Asi’s comment. “Who benefited most from her gaining?” She asks softly, her tone purposefully kept level and near emotionless.

“There was an attempted biological attack years ago,” Richard explains with a shake of his head to assist Alia’s meaning in being understood, “Adam was involved. If it had succeeded, well— it would’ve been bad for all of us, but the Evolved especially.”

His hands spread a bit, then, “Wish I knew an answer to your questions. Maybe even the opposite. Maybe he’s trying to get her in a place of greater power… I don’t know, all I know is that it’s way too much of a coincidence not to take into account.”

"It is." Asi agrees in the same slow way as before, looking between the two, mostly at Alia. After a beat, she visibly lets the misunderstanding go. In her hand, the screen of her phone flashes between applications, notes regarding the meeting being updated swiftly before the screen goes black.

"They are questions that will need answered, but that is not your burden to bear. Luckily for me, you've given me a lot to consider. Thank you for fielding my questions." She tips her head forward politely. "While likely an unnecessary offer, if you have need of an outside perspective on certain Raytech projects before my post ends…" Her phone is passed into her offhand. "Well, positively contributing to Yamagato's relationship with outside parties certainly sounds like something I could be given leave for."

"Or I'm sure you could come up with another suitable reason to call on me."

"I won't take up any more of your time." As she reaches forward with her free hand, she adds with amusement plain in her eye, "I doubt I'm the only one who had pressing questions after that meeting."

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