A Wrong Right


asi_icon.gif marlowe_icon.gif monica2_icon.gif

Scene Title A Wrong Right
Synopsis Engrossed in her work, Asi makes a wrong turn into Marlowe's workshop.
Date October 20, 2018

Yamagato Building

Brow furrowed, a flick of her eyes turns the next 'page' of information on the tablet before her. Asi's tongue smirches the roof of her mouth before she clicks it, reaching out with her free hand for the door before her. As soon as it's touched, the light on the card panel flickers green and the door gives way.

Left, right, left, straight, and right again.

Her head tilts at another piece of information that comes across the screen, pausing at the next door and glancing to it. As she reaches for it, it unlocks again without her reaching to tap her identification. The radius of the blast and the list of injuries from adjacent seating indicate that those in *that* particular row should have been …

Left, right, right, and…

Her fingertips brush by the card reader, the next door opening by itself. Asi's already stepped into the next room before she realizes she's mistaken the door and is somewhere she isn't meant to be. The smell is the first indication she's entered an unfamiliar space, followed by realizing the closed walls.

The smell. Instead of backing out with a murmur of apology, that familiar scent lures her into lifting her eyes from the tablet and looking up to get a better look at her surroundings. Just like… Her wrist slacks, the screen going dark as she scans the room with an upward, appreciative tick of her brow.

"I dunno, Lowe-Lowe," Monica says from her perch on one of the workbenches, "the joints have felt sticky for a few days." The why, though, she's not sure of. There are a lot of possibilities for a parkouring ninja living in New York City. "Interestingly," she adds with a crooked smile, "the middle finger is working just fine."

Her arm is laid out on the table next to her, face plates open, the guts of the machine exposed. It's a rare sight for most, but not here in this room. Her attention doesn't shift even when the door opens, mostly because she's used to people coming in and out while she's getting tinkered with.

The overarching scent of metal and machine grease might overwhelm those not used to it. But Marlowe probably doesn’t notice, or if she has, finds no reason to try and get rid of it. This is not a space for the public eye or nose, after all. “But the readings and summary diagnostics don’t show any—” Her eyes shoot Monica a look as the other woman remarks on the smoothness of bird flipping operations.

Letting out a huff that only an engineer faced with a problem to solve can do, Marlowe turns to a tablet pad on the table beside the arm, using a few rapid taps of her fingers on the screen to bring up a larger image into the photoreactive air in front of them. It’s when she looks through the semi-transparent robo-arm that she spots Asi wandering in.

And immediately swipes the image of the arm away, back into the tablet screen which gets a subtle tap of a finger to go black. Marlowe even steps slightly in front of Monica; someone is protective of her friend, and the work. “Nanika osagashidesu ka?” Her query sounds friendly even so.

"Mayotte shimatta sou nan desu kedo," Asi starts both soft and apologetic, though her wandering eyes are anything but. The briefly hovering image had caught her attention, her formality slipping. "Shitsurei ga, sore tte…" she lifts the hand with the tablet to gesture loosely at the table, a glance at Monica and her missing arm afterward. "jinkou-ude desu ka?" She's careful to remain where she is instead of inviting herself in even further, though her interest is plain. "Shinsozai mitai wa." she remarks with a hint of affection before her tablet arm falls back to her side.

"Ah." The smile that had almost curled up vanishes almost immediately as she considers the two. It's possible the brief phrase the engineer had spoken wasn't indicative of being ready to conduct an entire conversation in that language, after all. "Apologies. I do speak English, if that's easier." Her inflection is light and pronunciation clear, speaking fluidly.

“It’s important!” Monica notes with a laugh when Marlowe gives her the look. “It was in my requests when the arm was being built. Middle finger must always work properly.”

That might be somewhere in some paperwork she filled out, even if it never made it to the engineers.

She looks back when she hears the new voice, smirking a little as Marlowe moves between them. She doesn’t speak Japanese, although Jiba does provide her a translation privately. She doesn’t often let the other people around Yamagato know about that, though. So she looks between them with a puzzled look on her face until Asi picks up in English.

“Easier for me,” she remarks, “this one could carry on in like, seven languages.” This one being Marlowe.

If she were confronted about it, Marlowe may admit that she'd received that request from Monica in the paperwork specifically outlining the need for certain robotic digits to work at all times. She may even admit it. But for now they'll simply have to believe that it will do as requested. The rest of the arm, though, is subject to modifications.

The hesitation on Marlowe's part is brief, evaluating the newcomer and coming to a determination of her clearance level. Her once-over looks for a badge or bracelet to indicate as much. She nods slowly to the explanation, and since Monica's still needing to be fixed up, the engineer turns back to the work. "Hai, gishu desu. Kansatsu shitai nara, sore mo daijoubu to omoimasu," she replies as she picks up a tool that looks like the cross of a soldering gun and a miniaturized seam ripper on the end of it. "But if Monica's not comfortable with it, I'm afraid we'd have to ask you to turn around and leave." She blinks at Monica, a smile quirked at the edge of her mouth. "Maybe in three languages," she counters with a softly huffed laugh.

That being said, Marlowe gestures a come-on over to Asi.

The workshop invader does not bear an identification bracelet … but she does have an ID attached at her hip bearing the information 'Tetsuyama Asi - Consultant' The small photo sitting center of the card shows the same woman with a neutral, serious expression — much different than the small but warm smile she presents to the two as she steps forward. She's dressed in a pleated cream blouse and long gray vest, black slacks tucked into heeled boots that click on the floor with each step.

Her attention redirects to Monica with more interest than before as her name's spoken aloud, and it's followed by a quiet 'ah' of recognition. "Ms. Dawson, yoroshiku." she says with a polite tip of her head, eyes for the woman she's greeting. "I recall seeing you at the meeting at Raytech?" More than that, she recalled 'seeing' the invitation for that event that had been sent to one Monica Dawson. One that had triggered her own interest in striking out beyond Yamagato Park to begin with.

Asi pauses by the table's side, continuing, "I apologize for not introducing myself then. The discussion was rather lively." She lays aside her tablet on the workbench, giving a nod to the work Marlowe is doing. "In a past life, I worked extensively with prosthetics. The company was working to develop its own cybernetics, but this …" That same appreciative tone from before has crept back into her voice. "This is something else."

"I'm Asi." she offers. It almost sounds like an afterthought until she adds with some amusement, "A fellow polyglot and engineer, it would seem."

"Yamagato collects those," Monica says, her expression amused. She doesn't protest Asi coming in and having a look— she's pretty used to being the display model by now.

She glances over to Marlowe at the mention of the meeting, smile deepening into a grin, but she looks back to Asi again after. "Right, Rich's shindig. It wasn't really a good moment for introductions, don't worry about it. I've been to his meetings before, pretty standard, really." A beat. "The robots are new." The lively discussions are not. "And please. Monica. Ms. Dawson sounds like a grown up."

She glances to her arm, then over to Marlowe again. "She gets the credit. I'm just doing the test drive, she made it, she keeps it running."

Marlowe regards the newcomer with an impeccably groomed set of arched brows, shifting the tool in her hand. “Marlowe,” she introduces of herself, “and not that I can take full credit. Hachir— Otomo-shochou did much of the heavy lifting of the internal link-up designs digitally as well.” There’s still a twinge of emotion, a catch to her voice at the mention of the comatose director, but her head quickly shakes as she switches the topic to something more light-hearted and lively.

“Did you say the RayTech meeting?” The woman sweeps back, leaning in to Monica’s arm but at the same time earning a conspiratorial bent. “Richard looked quite nice in his suit, didn’t he? I’m so bummed I wasn’t able to go. But I’m the lucky one, because Moni took a few pics.” She beams at her friend and coworker, waggling the mechanical tool at Monica lightly. “And you could have snuck a few more pictures of those robots to me for design research. You know I love a good aesthetic.”

But the chiding is short-lived, because Marlowe turns back to Asi and excitedly continues, “What did you think of it? What did they talk about? Monica here’s been dodging me about it, but now I’ve got her.” And the woman’s curious stare bores into the technopath, looking hopeful that she might answer some burning unsaid questions. Or at least spill a little gossip.

Asi's posture shifts as she watches the two slip back right into their banter, some of their enthusiasm even extended her way. Her small smile persists, hardly able to fade away given the company. She chuckles almost under her breath as she admits, "It was informative, just not particularly … structured. Though he seemed to be trying." There's a small quirk of her lips.

Her smile does fade when Otomo's name is brought up, her attention redirected to the cybernetic arm. Though she's still listening, she's grown solemn herself, some heavy thought taking hold.

As Marlowe picks back up the lighter topic, it takes a moment for Asi to come back to the moment. "What I thought of it?" she asks distantly, seeming to catch herself before providing a fully honest response. While she stops herself before saying anything unfiltered, her expression implies she found the meeting to be omoshiroi. Intruders both dangerous and teenage were the first thing that came to mind, aside from a lack of coordination between attendees, after all.

"It…" she starts carefully, like she's formulating how to phrase her opinion. Her attention lifts to scan the ceiling and corners of the workshop. Then she shoots Monica a glance that might even be apologetic. "—revealed Mr. Ray and Raytech believe there is a danger that could threaten many, if given the chance. And depressingly few details about that entity's motivations, goals, and current reach. If anything, it was part briefing and part plea to pool resources to potentially combat that threat, once more is known."

Maybe she should have just laughed and passed a comment about Richard's attire. She might have, if the man hadn't mentioned both Marlowe and Monica as trustworthy individuals.

Asi is shaking her head slightly to push past that particular topic for now, gesturing toward the arm again with an indicative glance. "Mr. Ray brought up to me afterward that there is an initiative to communicate with Otomo-shochou, use of something called a SEER device." After a beat, she adds, "I was tasked with investigating the bombing. Being able to communicate with a key witness could provide a breakthrough in better identifying the bomber."

The look she gives Marlowe out the corner of her eye does more than imply that while the investigation is a convenient excuse, she finds the endeavor to be a worthwhile pursuit.

"Well, I didn't want to be accused of corporate espionage," Monica says to Marlowe's request, her smile crooked. "Sending them right to the best engineer who ever lived? Scandalous."

Her attention turns to Asi when she starts to try to explain the meeting, and she can't help a chuckle. "Rich wants to do some good for New York. For the world. Once upon a time, that meant predicting and preventing catastrophic events from ever happening. Murdering futures, that's what we called it in the old days." There's a glance over to Marlowe, some apology in her expression. Because this is where it gets complicated. "Only. A time traveler showed him that those futures weren't murdered at all. They didn't happen to us. They didn't happen here. But they did happen somewhere else. Another timeline like this one, but not this one. Close, but for that one moment. Like branches off a tree. All still real, but you can only sit in one of them." Of course, none of that explains the danger. Or the other complexities brought up in the meeting. But she's starting small. It's just that her version of small is really quite big.

What she doesn't have a lot of insight into is Otomo's situation. Or the technology they need to communicate with him. But she's more than willing to listen when the SEER system is brought up. However, something in Asi's words makes Monica's features swing back toward amused again. "Marlowe— should I be insulted?" She isn't, of course, her own investigation into the bombing is decidedly unofficial.

Marlowe's interest in the topics of the RayTech meeting doesn't wane as she studies Asi's pauses and opining with interest. She does pick up on the omoshiroi factor, especially at the woman's sidelong glances in Monica's direction. But Monica's claim of Marlowe being the best engineer earns the cybernetic armed woman a sharp blink and flap of a hand with the needle-point tool in her direction, no danger of putting eyes out here though. "Oh stop it, flatterer," she laughs. But it's obvious that Marlowe is glad to hear such praise, and is settled by the affirmation. Even if it's not entirely true.

As the ladies go on to explain the context and content of the meeting, Marlowe fades her smile a bit, although it doesn't entirely disappear. "That sounds like some quantum entanglement involving chroniton particles and transporter beams," she murmurs offhandedly as she turns back to the far less complex-by-comparison bleeding-edge tech prosthetic arm that's hooked into Monica's neurosystems and supernatural ability. "So Richard thinks something's threatening our world and he's trying to save it…" The woman then blinks as she puts a thought to another, turning to both Asi and Monica with a blurted, "Project Looking Glass."

It's a name that doesn't come with familiarity, however, only an acquaintance. Marlowe explains with a shrug, "He'd asked me to look into it, if the company had anything about it because of its establishment by the Nakamuras." She taps the end of the tool on the table in thought as the mention of the SEER device brings her back out of reveries. Sharply, even. A defensive expression rears itself, until Monica cuts back in and Marlowe blinks. The defensiveness melts away in the face of Monica's amusement, replaced with an echo faintly of the other woman's humor.

"No," assesses Marlowe after a short glance back to Asi. "Pretty sure you're not in danger of getting your pride stung. But yes. Richard graciously gave us his brother's designs of a device that might allow us to…" The word catches as she thinks, the woman for a split second, worried to give voice to the concept. "To try and talk to the director." She sets the tool down then, a hand moving to the tablet on the table. Fingers hesitate over the screen. "I need to contact Hana Gitelman too. The machine, it's built. I have a few final touches. But the software, the programming. I think it needs a more… intricate knowledge and deeper connection than what I can figure out."

She turns back to Asi then, regarding the woman. “You should be there too, then. With your need to investigate the bombing, that should be a priority. Praxis… won’t get away with it.” She’d stake a lot on that.

The two's ability to shift gears so conversationally is refreshing, and gives Asi a lot to consider regarding them both. Monica's use of 'we' in regards to murdering futures, the implication that she and Marlowe had been doing their own investigating… to start.

Her chin lifts ever so slightly before she suggests, "If you'll allow me to be there when it's turned on, allow me to see if there's anything I could do to help with those final touches as well. It wouldn't be right to only benefit and not contribute."

A pause, then, before she asks, "You believe Praxis to be behind the attack?" without her tone revealing the slightest hint of what her own beliefs are.

"Ugh, Lowe-Lowe, don't come at me with that Star Trek technobabble. It's worse than your actual technobabble." Monica doesn't get through all that without a crooked smile, although she does try. It disappears when Marlowe drops that particular project name. "…Did we have anything to do with it?"

It's suddenly very important, that particular train of thought.

But, she glances over to Asi at her question, and Monica lifts her non-cybernetic arm to give a so-so gesture. "Yes and no. I think they made have assisted, but I don't think they're the driving force behind it."

The Star Trek technobabble is part and parcel when dealing with Marlowe, whose work no doubt involves much of it. In at least two languages, most likely. "Hey, you're the one talking about interdimensional realities here," she remarks with a cross of her arms over her chest and a slight pout. "I hadn't really looked too closely into it. Richard asked, but he didn't make it seem too urgent. Besides, I mean as far as project names go, Looking Glass would seem kind of, I don't know, obvious? If you wanted to talk about alternate dimensions. Wonderland and all that."

"Oh. That's a pretty good one, actually," the engineer murmurs to herself as she turns to the tablet and taps a notetaking app to jot it down.

As she does so, Asi's inquiry earns a short nod from the woman. "Mochiron," Marlowe answers the technopath, the tone covering more than one question. Her own chin lifts once she's done sliding her finger over the screen in rapid handwritten scrawl, and held stiff, attentions focused back onto the pair. "Otomo-shochou would deserve no less than the most thorough of investigation into this heinous act. And if we do find evidence of Praxis involvement somehow, with the bombing…" Marlowe's lips purse tightly a moment. "Then they're responsible for murder."

A short chuckle escapes Asi at one of Monica's comments, accompanied by a look down at the floor to center herself and quash a smile that had started to creep up. She'd thought that 'technobabble' had sounded off. The smile wears off more easily on its own as Marlowe's mood falls. A hand is held up in caution either of her words, or an intent she feels behind them. "I'm doing everything I can to verify."

That hand turns over, palm facing up now. "You both have insight that I do not, having been here before and since the bombing. Perhaps we could talk about that insight some time over drinks?"

She nods tenderly at the arm with its bits all still exposed to the air. "I apologize, though. I've interrupted. I wouldn't want to cause you to do something damning like … crossing the streams."

"Yeah, but my interdimensional realities are real," Monica says, although the rebuttal seems to come in good humor. Sometimes she forgets that she has had a lot more time to adjust to just how strange things are than most people. And that it's better to roll with the weirdness than balk at it— saves time.

When she looks back over to Asi, a mischievous grin slowly grows on her face. "Don't worry about it," she says, as far as interrupting goes. "As for drinks… What do you think, Marlowe? Think we should invite her to Sake And Employee Appreciation this week?" An accurate, but misleading title for Marlowe and Monica's regular get togethers. "I'm sure we could make some time in there to talk bomb."

While around Monica’s good humor, the engineer finds it hard to remain down. Marlowe blows out a short huff with the rebuttal, plucking up the tool she’d set aside and tweaking it with her fingers. “I mean if you’re going to go by that, then practically all interdimensional realities are possible,” she considers, only managing to catch herself from rambling on and spouting crackpot theories slipped into sci-fi media.

Marlowe waggles the tool in hand, slowly coming back to smile at Asi with that query about drinks and discussions. The technopath gets an exaggerated once over, and then Marlowe turns to Monica with a slow nod. “Mm, I think we could do with a third… only, she gets to be on my team for sake-pong if we do that again. You get Jeebs on yours.” Not that Monica ever needs help with a game that involves hand-eye coordination.

“If you’re staying at Cresting Wave, stop by some time,” Marlowe replies to Asi after. “And we’ll definitely talk shop some more. Including what’s next on the line for Mr. Ray’s omo-shiri.1 Ne?” A bright smile follows that bit of turn of phrase, the woman’s eyes practically glittering with humor.

Though she's trying her best to stay serious, Asi can't help but be affected by the stream of playful banter as well, her mood lightening again without it even meaning to. It's refreshing for that to happen, actually. The invitation to drop by is met with a warm smile that slips in its sincerity at Marlowe's possible mispronunciation. She starts to politely correct her phrasing before really considering the tone it was spoken with, as well as the look that accompanied it. There's a slight uptick in her brow as she realizes it was all deliberate.

A snort escapes the slender woman first, trailed by a slow, but growing laugh. She holds her side at first, and then only belatedly lifts it to cover her mouth to try and visibly conceal her chuckling, her own eyes gleaming as she fights to better hide her amusement. "Mochiron," she agrees from behind her palm, fingers curling slightly as she stifles an errant snicker that tries to escape.

A grin is unhidden by the action. One that's likely to be commonplace whenever Asi is in the company of her new acquaintances.

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