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Scene Title Alias
Synopsis Agents Baumann and Cooper investigate the history of the railguns stolen from Praxis Heavy Industries.
Date October 23, 2018

Fort Jay

With the Yamagato matsuri taking place, people with idle time available were spending their days preparing for the food, the parties, and the festivities. Even those that didn't have leisure time were meticulously planning where to be when to get the maximum entertainment from the Yamagato corporation. Here, however, on SESA’s island base a bay away, locked in a disused set of holding cells behind several secure areas protected by guards, cameras, and whatever physical barriers could be made, are eleven plain looking black cases marked with the logo of Praxis heavy. One of these cases sits on a metal table in the middle of the room, the other ten stacked neatly on three other matching tables near the back wall. It's not like SESA was insecure - it's just that these railguns are that much of a prize to be protected.

Sitting in one of the two chairs brought down from one of the offices, Agent Cassandra Baumann waits patiently for Agent Cooper. Professional courtesy dictated that he be here when she started doing her thing - better to have someone who recognized the trafficker and who might recognize anyone else that might happen to show up.

While she waits, no better time to learn. The railgun case sits open in front of her, the railgun sitting on a tabletop mount borrowed from the guys in the armory. The batteries are out to prevent accidental firing, and a printout from some document acquired somewhere is folded into a simple paper booklet, opened to page 3. The previous 2 pages were warnings and basic stick figure instructions on aiming and loading, and it seems Cassie is trying to make heads or tails of how to make the thing work.

“Once railgun is safe, press ejector lever on left side to drop empty magazine.” She looks up from the document at the matte black switch pointing to ‘lock’ and flips it down. “Insert new magazine….”. She leans over to look at the additional empty magazine with a simple-looking machined projectile leaning against it - “until the springs seat properly in the channel of the magazine well.” She goes through the motions, letting the magazine slide out and setting it aside before putting the new empty magazine in, seating it with a loud click.

“Should I be worried that you are learning how to work that thing?” The voice coming from the door sounds highly amused. Agent Cooper watches her there with cup of department sludge in one hand and a powdered donut in the other. His dark blue suit is already showing a sprinkling of white powder.

Taking a bite of the donut, he steps in and makes his way around to stad across from her, looking at her over the railgun. “I -promise you the rumors about me are not true,” he comments around the bite, giving her a goofy grin after he swallows. “So no need to arm yourself.”

The grin remains, even as he set the coffee on the stack of rail guns, so he can brush at his clothes, though only managing to spread the powder. “Thanks for the call, Baumann. These things have been on mind, especially the one that’s AWOL.”

“Nah, you shouldn’t worry about it. It’s just my curious nature. One of the negatives about being an investigator - you always want to know more. The guys down in the armory, when they heard we had these in evidence, practically begged to come down and take a look at them, and if they could pretty please hold one and shoot it down at the range.” Cassandra chuckles and picks up one of the bullets - a machined tungsten projectile that weighs a little more than a pound, turning it over in her hands, setting it down with a clack in the carved out foam of the case where she pulled it from. “Directed them upstairs for permission for that. Besides, we’re missing one. If movies have taught me anything, a daring robbery will take place by someone at some point to try and get these back. The hero - that’s me - will have to fight off the invaders by using the weapon in a dramatic last-ditch scene. Filled with one-liners and slow-motion explosions.”

Yeah, she watched Die Hard last night.

Cassandra gestures to the chair opposite her - a quiet invitation to take a seat. “You were there when we found these things, so you deserve to be here when we find out more. I haven’t really done much looking. Just… tasting little bits of the past off of them, more than anything. See which boxes radiated the most memories. Most of them just have construction, a few hints of the factory where they were loaded up. The guns have a little more on them, since they were held by people and the like. This one, though…” She rests her hand on it, patting it lightly “This one was the tester. If we get anything good, I’ll bet it's off this one.”

She takes a sip of her coffee, her blindfold hanging around her neck as evidence of her previous work, a pencil and a stack of notes nearby about what she’s seen so far. Incidental information - manufacturing dates that she could glean from the serial numbers, location of the factory and the like. “I can show you what I’ve got so far before we do the deep dive. Maybe you have some ideas I don’t.”

There's a knock on the frame of the door behind Cooper, and the slight silhouette of Deputy-Director Choi is an unexpected sight. Choi smiles in brief but warm fashion to Cooper, then steps in to the room around him and lays her eyes first on Cassandra, then down to the firearm.

“Paloma told me what you found, but I had to come and see this for myself.” Choi shakes her head, a nervousness showing at the corners of her eyes. “I'm glad I found both of you down here at the same time, though, this will make it easier.”

Crossing her arms over her chest, Choi looks back and forth between the two agents. “We received word yesterday from a representative of Praxis Heavy Industries, responding to our inquiry about the weapons. They have a report filed with Interpol regarding their theft from a freighter in Shanghai four months ago. Praxis has asked that we return their property to them, and SESA is going to oblige.”

There's a but in there somewhere, knowing Choi.

Mouth open to respond to Cassandra, Cooper is stopped by the knock behind him. A step aside allows her to step around him without, contact. A glance down has him paling slightly and brushing a bit more at the power on his suit. There are few times that the man will have the decency to look embarrassed at his appearance, this was one of them.

“Deputy-Director,” Cooper murmurs in greeting offering a smile in return.

What she has to say draws a curious look from the agent, then it falls into one of disappointment. However, he understands that this is how things go. How many times had that happened to him over the years? Too many!

However, he catches it. Cooper’s eyes narrow a little, with mischief pulling his grin to one side. “I hear a ‘but’ in there,” he says in a sing-song voice, a finger lightly dusted with a couple speckles of power twirls her direction. “We dragging our feet? Throwing not quite necessary paperwork their way?” His grin widens a bit more. “Please tell me, you are going to let us get what we can off these first.” Then after a tick he remembers to add a, “ma’am,” with an apologetic cough.

“Ma’am.” Cassandra says from her spot by the table, turning to face the Director. “If I had known you were coming, I’d have brought down another chair.” Greetings out of the way, she sits quietly as information is given and SESA’s position is shared. She opens her mouth to respond and then looks to Cooper, catching that narrowing of his eyes.

“Forensics will take weeks, certainly.” She catches on quickly, it seems. “And the tragedy is that we only recovered, oh, I don’t know…eight of the railguns, with two of those eight stripped to the frames?” The lilt in Cassandra’s voice indicates she’s teasing.


“We are going to do our due diligence,” Choi says with a raise of her brows and a sassy purse of her lips as though the implication was obvious. “I'm glad you're already started on this, Baumann. This is a high profile case for us, dealing with an international corporation of Praxis’ size, and I'm convinced this is connected to the work Agent Cooper was handling on Staten Island.”

Circling the table with the mounted railgun, Choi brushes her hand across the tabletop. “That said, our due diligence can only hold for so long. Praxis Heavy Industries is like dealing with an entire country, except… probably more powerful politically here in the US. I want you to get us leads on who stole these, where they were headed, and whatever else you can peel off of them by the end of the month.”

That, it seems, is the duration of due diligence. “We’re going to be shipping these weapons back to Praxis Heavy at the start of November; a non-negotiable timetable.”

Choi drums her fingertips on the tabletop, then looks up to Cooper. “We’re shifting gears on the human trafficking case right now, so I've spoken with Kenner and we’d like to get you involved on wherever this trail leads.” Then, up to Cassandra. “I'd like you to partner up with Cooper for this. I think his experience will be good for you.”

There is a firm nod at the re-assignment. “S’alright. I think short of going to Tricky Ricky,” Which would have completely, blown Thomas Cooper’s cover, “I got as much as that place was going to give for now.” Pressing the back of his hand to his back, he adds, “Not to mention one can only sleep in the Magic Mobile so long before you miss a real bed.”

There might be a bit of a puff to Cooper’s chest at the mention of his experience. For all that he is a goofball, the man was at least decent at his job.

Popping that last bit of donut in his mouth, Cooper brushes his hands together and his tie. “It’s a tough time table,” he says around the bite, taking a sip of coffee, “but I don’t got a life, just gotta feed Al. What about you Baumann, ready for some midnight oil burning?” he asks with a great big enthused grin. He might enjoy his job. Just a bit.

“I’ll have to check my calendar.” Cassandra smirks. Who’s she kidding? She doesn’t have a calendar or really anything besides her job and her extracurricular activities. “I think I could use the experience from an experienced agent like Cooper, there.” Any experience is good experience, after all.1

Turning to the mounted railgun on the table, Cassandra pushes the empty magazine into the mount with a click, making sure it’s locked in tight. “We were just about to go into this one. It’s the one with the most…use, I guess is the best way to put it. Lots of memories attached to this one. From what I can tell, it’s been test-fired several times and has had hands on it a lot more than those over there.” She slips the battery into its cradle on the butt of the railgun and powers it up. Briefly, the Praxis Heavy logo shows on the LCD screen mounted on the side. A bit of manipulation with little buttons brings up the ‘shots fired’ menu. “58 shots fired out of this one since the counter was started in July. The rest have like two or three. The guys down in the lab have already gotten any prints they could get off these things, so we’re just waiting to hear back from them to see if anything comes up.”

“We were just about to start discussing the basics before I started the dog and pony show.” Cassandra gets up, offering her chair to the director. “You’re more than welcome to hang out and see what comes up, Director Choi.”

“Partials,” Choi comments about the prints, she'd gone to check. “Unfortunately, most of the database we’re working on is incomplete. We had records up to 2008 stored in archives below Kansas City, but when the Petrelli Administration took over the archival work wasn't prioritized. No one expected the next ten years.”

That said, Choi moves to a wall at the edge of the room and crosses her hands over her chest. “We found something… maybe… but I want to see what comes up on this before I say anything.” Choi nods to Cassandra and Cooper, then waits.

“It is completely wild that you can tell that something has a history like that,” Thomas says sounding pretty impressed. “Stay away from my place. You do not—” Cooper trails off remembering who is in the room with them. Pale eyes slide Choi’s direction and he clears his throat, “Anyhow… “ Giving the Deputy-Director an awkward smile, he motions her to a chair, before picking up his mug of caffeinated sludge and moves to lean against the wall, motioning to Cassandra that he was ready when she was.

“I don’t think anyone could anticipate the war,” Cooper grumbles over the edge of his mug before taking a sip.

“Okay. So we know that our favorite arms dealer Kalik had a hand in this. Big thing is how far does his involvement go, before he hid them with our vic and she decided to do the ‘right thing’” and yes there are air quotes made with the hand not occupied with his coffee. “Speaking of Kalik” He point at Choi, and asks curiously, “You get the sketch? Had Baumann sit down with one of our artists while the memory was fresh.” For a man who no one knew the face of, Cooper felt that was a pretty big thing.

Cassandra starts to prepare for her ability, retrieving her notepad and blindfold from wherever she had them tucked or wrapped. “Don’t worry, Cooper. I make it a point to not look into anyone’s past or living space unless specifically invited and told ‘this is exactly what I’m looking for.’ Even then, I give the warnings that I normally give, and if at that point they want me to go on, I do. Besides.” Cassandra grins, looping her blindfold around her neck. “Your apartment isn’t a special circumstance, Coop. Delving into the past of someone’s home is like reading their video diary with them watching over your shoulder. Super uncomfortable for them and for me.”

The comments on the war earn a short nod and a glance to the Director. “I don’t think anyone really could tell it was coming, and if they really could, who’d believe them? I mean, that seer who ran that bar might’ve been able to, if you could get past the crazy to hit the signal.” The second civil war was universally seen as a massive pile of insanity that tipped over, and if anyone could see that and make sense of it, they’d be put away for months. Still, Cassandra shrugs, lost in her thoughts for a second as she removes the battery from the railgun and sets it aside, winding the blindfold around her eyes, tugging the loose knot at the back to make sure the blindfold is seated properly where it will do the most good.

“I think Kowalski is still finishing the sketch up. We sat for about an hour getting it right and I think it’s pretty life-like. Chances are she’ll see what he looks like the second I get going, though.” She leans forward and hefts the railgun off its mount and into her arms, setting the butt in the chair next to her, wrapping her arms around the futuristic weapon, muzzle pointed toward the ceiling. She lets out a breath and relaxes, her flats left on the floor, legs crossed in the chair. one hand moves to the foregrip, the other resting on the stock just below the optic, holding the railgun like a soldier might in drill, bare hands resting on the composites and metal.

“Here we go.”

The world around them ripples and fades away to darkness.

Images blur past as Cassandra rifles through historic events with the firearm as though she were tuning in radio stations. Impressions of places and people come into view, warehouses and the blackness of a shipping container it was contained in. Enormous gaps of nothing because of the lack of mental impressions on the object. The first obvious gap is that there's a clear vision of it being packed by Praxis Heavy Industries crew into its case in a factory, but no memory of the theft because the gun wasn't handled and was kept in its case. But then…

Pale hands delicately open the matte black case, and a young woman no older than 23 or 24 kneels in front of the box. Brown hair is worn long in a ponytail, black parka buttoned up to her chin and fur collar down and dusted with snow. A fringe of bangs hides her brows as much as gloves hide her hands. “This is it,” she says with a look over her shoulder to two other identical women in black parkas.

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The triplets move to stand around the case, staring down at it and the railgun inside. “Call them over,” another one of the triplets says with a motion to several men in black hooded parkas and balaclava standing on the same snowy airstrip.

The vision doesn't extend far enough to show anything like the horizon or nearby buildings, but the yellow lines on the snow-dusted asphalt look like the markings of an airstrip. Based on the Cyrillic writing on the ground, somewhere in Russia or another country that uses that alphabet.

Seven men approach, and one of the brunettes steps away from the case and motions to it. “Kama waedat,” she says to them. One of the men approaches the case and takes a knee, pulling the railgun out from within. He turns it over in his hand, looking down the scope and then back to the triplets.

Aidfaeha,” the man holding the railgun says to one of his subordinates, who approaches with a small black briefcase case that is handed over casually. The brunette who opened the railgun case initially gets a distant look in her eyes as her pupils expand, then she nods affirmatively to her sibling.

“Let’s go,” the one triplets who hadn't spoken yet says, moving away from the four men and out of sight. The man holding the railgun nods slowly, then sets it back down into the form-cut foam padding of the case. The others standing around him nod one by one, and the case is shut with a click.

The room goes dark.

“Arabic,” Choi confirms from the perimeter of the room. “They were confirming the contents and exchanging payment. The triplets aren't familiar to me, however. Their accents suggest they're not native speakers. The men…” Choi makes a face, not sure she wants to speculate. “Possibly Mazdak, which is a nightmare scenario if that's accurate.”

Arms crossed and head down, Choi looks deep in thought as she waits for Cassandra to decide where to investigate next.

There is a look that Cassandra gets at the mention of Eve, but he bites his tongue as the view in the room changes and events start to play out. The site of those face, Cooper is moving quickly to set his coffee down and take out his notepad and pen from his pockets. Details are jotted down. Things such as the scenery, descriptions of the people. He’s still filling the pages, flipping to the next when the room goes dark.

Cooper is silent for a moment. Then a thought occurs to him which he says out loud, “Should we be, maybe, reading the cases instead of the weapons?” Where the cases go, the guns go.

Of course, the mention of Mazdak gets a wrinkle of the agent's nose and a grimace. “Mazdak?” Cooper repeats with disdain, “That is the last thing we need. If they are the ones with the missing railgun, you know the good old U. S. of A is going to be on the other end.” He huffs out, looking thoughtful. “Do we know if there is any rumors of them setting boots on our soil?” Not that it was in their job description, but it’s good to know if someone is going to kill you in the name of extremist views.

The scene is manipulated carefully, the triplets frozen in time as they inspect the gun. Plenty of time for Cooper to inspect his notes. “You know, that’s a really good idea.” Getting readings off the case is easy enough. The rifle is replaced awkwardly in its cradle, the projectile resting nearby knocked over, rolling over the table in a circular pattern before it rests next to her notepad. The case, sitting on the floor next to the table, is pulled up and laid across Cassandra’s lap.

The mention of Mazdak, though, that causes her to stop. “Jesus, I hope it’s not them. Just…here’s hoping they’re just profiteers or something.” it’s an unlikely result, but it’s the hopeful one. Don’t go entirely negative.

She continues with the case, finding the same scene from a different point of view if she can, to give the scene more context before continuing to the next spot.

Cooper’s idea holds significant amounts of weight, and the case had indeed seen more than the rifle itself had. Skipping past production and fabrication moments in a blur, Cassandra hones in on the packaging and transport of the railguns from a Praxis Heavy Industries facility in Shanghai. Skipping through the images she sees the weapons transported via river through China to an airfield and then packaged with other Praxis military hardware and flown in a cargo plane.

Somewhere mid flight, Cassandra sees what looks like turbulence, then a violent crash. This, it seems, lined up with the other images as she brings it to a stop and lets it play out.

Flames burn across a snow-dusted airfield. The fuselage of a now wingless twin-engine cargo plane is tipped onto its side. From its appearance it looks like a CASA CN-235. Smoke billows from both engines and the windscreen is fractured and spattered with dark red. Men in black parkas are hauling cases out of the rear of the jet, all of them armed with Beretta ARX160 assault rifles modded with underbarrel flashlights and green dot scopes.

Quietly, Choi jots down the tail designation of the plane in a notepad.

A trio of young women walk into view, brunette and identical in appearance, dressed in matching black parkas to the team hauling the crates out of the plane. One of them stops and takes a knee beside a case, opening the latches and looking down at the weapon system inside. “This is it,” she says over her shoulder to her doubles. “Call them over.”

Choi exhales a held breath. “This is outstanding,” she remarks, not having seen one of these visions from an alternate viewpoint before.

The brunette by the case stands up and steps aside, motioning to one of seven balaclava-wearing men approaching. “Kama waedat,” she says to them. One of the men approaches the case and takes a knee, pulling the railgun out from within. He turns it over in his hand, looking down the scope and then back to the triplets.

Aidfaeha,” the man holding the railgun says to one of his subordinates, who approaches with a small black briefcase case that is handed over casually. The brunette who opened the railgun case initially gets a distant look in her eyes as her pupils expand, then she nods affirmatively to her sibling.

“Let’s go,” the one triplets who hadn't spoken yet says, moving away from the four men and out of sight. The man holding the railgun nods slowly, then sets it back down into the form-cut foam padding of the case. The others standing around him nod one by one, and the case is shut with a click.

This time, the room doesn't go dark.

As the case is closed, the three women walk a few dozen paces away with their briefcase and are met by a pink-haired woman who otherwise looks like a fourth identical twin. She appears in a sudden distortion of light, warped space, and displaced air that swirls the snow around her. Clearly having been shunted here from somewhere else. She says nothing to the others, though she looks relieved to see the briefcase. “Let's go brief the Director,” one of the brunettes says, and all four women disappear in the same heat-mirage distortion.


“Teleportation?” Choi surmises. “Identical quadruplets?” There's a tension in her voice, as though Choi is suspecting something further happening.

The men left behind don't seem phased by the women’s disappearance. Instead, one of them shouts to a distant, unseen figure, and soon the rumbling sound of a truck approaches. A heavy freight truck stops with a hiss of hydraulic brakes as the back doors open and five more men, these with faces uncovered though still dressed for cold weather, begin loading the crates into the unmarked truck.

All of the unmasked men appear to be of middle-eastern descent, in their early twenties. From the passenger side of the cab one more man approaches, short and wiry with closely cropped dark hair and a face full of scars. He only has a handgun holstered to his hip, though the masked men appear deferential to him.

Ahzumha.” He says with a motion to the crates. “Awraquna alsafinat eind alfajr.

“Pause it there,” Choi instructs, and that tension in her voice has only grown. “That man,” the one Cooper and Cassandra identifies as Kalik, “is our worst case scenario come to life.”

Choi pauses, sighing deeply. “That is former Humanis First Lieutenant Khalid Sadaka, one of the ten most wanted members of Humanis First in the world. He disappeared during the civil war, but we pieced together that he was internal to Mitchell’s closest cabinet. We believe he may have been the one to push General Moritz to use nuclear weapons…”


“What the fuck is he doing with Mazdak?” Choi wonders aloud.

“And what the fuck is he doing pushing weapons on Staten?” Cooper asks on the heels of her question. Pausing in his writing, he points at the guy with his pen. “That is Kalik. He was there moments before the Pikachu army devoured our vic.” Eyes narrow at the image of the man.

A glance goes down to his notes. “Director.” He murmurs the word over and over again. “You know. From what I remember. Two recent ‘bad guy’ organizations used that title. The Company, which I’m pretty sure is dust in the wind, and the Institute.” He waggles his head about, “That one we don’t know about. So these triplets could be involved with that? That or we have something new.” Nothing was ever too far beyond the realm of possibilities. “But honestly, as all movies prove… The bad guys never dead until they come back one more time. So I’m going to put my money on the on Institute or some secret parent company.” That’s a thing right?

Fingers tap on the back of his notebook in thought, “And yet here they are dealing in stolen goods to the very people that would want to kill them…” Cooper trails off thoughts turning inward.

“This is really fucking bad, guys,” Thomas comments after a moment.

Through all of this, Cassandra remains silent, projecting, rewinding, and forwarding the scenes so things can be written down or observed easily. One of the advantages of her ability is the way one can actually walk around inside the vision and gaze at things that might otherwise be hidden. Manifests, paperwork, or even where a gun was aimed can be viewed easily. Instead of one viewpoint, you can have multiples, and with the addition of the case’s memory added on, like a second witness, what happened becomes more seated in reality. The appearance of the triplets and their pink-haired sister causes Cassandra to turn her chair to face them, the scene rewinding to the second before they all vanish.

“Evolved are tricky.” One of her usual understatements, there. “There are several things that woman could be, but my first guess would be a teleporter that doesn’t have to ‘destroy’ the original when she teleports. That’d leave a copy that could run around and do things…who knows? Five? Ten? A hundred of them? And the question then comes up of their individuality - do they each have access to the other’s memories and experiences? I guess it would depend on how much input and stimulus her mind could handle. One entity that has all those viewpoints. One that customizes her forms just so she can maintain a little individuality.” She pauses, letting the scene play out. “A Gestalt.”

The question of why Khalid is working with Mazdak is one she can’t answer, but Cassandra can offer opinions. “There’s always the chance that pure profiteering from combat is something that he’d do, but selling weapons like this here would be like bringing a case of dynamite to a backyard fireworks show. Overkill times twenty.” She turns her chair to look at the crashed plane and the frozen image of men loading crates into the truck. “This has to have been a special order. Someone said ‘I need these railguns, get them for me.’ and these people did it. They shot down a plane to get them and I’d bet that once these went off the grid and into our evidence lockers, they started looking for another shipment.” Cassandra looks back to the gun. “Or will wait until we give these back to Praxis to try to get them again.”

“Could be clones,” Choi suggests, “or triplets. I'll need you to replay that part later for the folks down in logistics so we can get a face composite done. Maybe we've flagged her somewhere else before, maybe Interpol has records.”

Sighing, Choi crosses her arms and moves away from the wall. “Praxis wants the handoff done under corporate supervision. Their security and the local MPs. We haven't externally disclosed the site of the exchange yet, but I'm of a Like mind that if Khalid Sadaka is involved in this, it won't be the last attempt for these weapons.”

Choi angles a look over to Cooper, then Cassandra. “I'll be honest. I'm tempted to set up a honey pot and see who comes for it.”

Notebook tapping against his hand, Coopers eyes are unfocused as he goes over what everyone is saying and tries to fit the pieces together. Finally, he points at the Deputy Director. “I like that,” he starts, pale eyes focusing on her with a wicked grin. “Which is why they pay you the big bucks.”

Stepping over the railgun, Cooper looks it over while tucking his notebook away. “Throw trackers on all the cases and in a hidden spot on the weapons and bait them.” He runs at hand down it. “Super risky, but I think baiting them could work.” He motions at Cassandra, “Cause if she is right and these are a Special Order, then.. They will try and get them.”

Stepping away from the gun, he takes a deep breath, his next words are a bit reluctant, “However, I also think we need to play this one close to the chest.” He looks between the two women, but his eyes linger on Choi, “Because I doubt the movements of these weapons were public knowledge, which means someone within their organization fed information out to these people. I mean, everyone’s loyalty has a price.” Cooper isn’t so blind not to know his.

He scratches at his jaw and the hint of stubble shadowing it. “It would be a huge score if we could corner this guy.” There would be more to take his place, but that would be a bridge to cross when they get there.

“Wait, you get paid for this?” Cassandra’s cheeky comment comes as she turns to regard the gun - or specifically the blank spot in her vision where the gun and the case sit, reaching out to feel along the table for the small projectile - the one that rolled in a semi-circle before resting against her notebook. Pulling it into her hand, the other still resting on the case, she hefts the projectile experimentally, running her thumb over it and gauging the weight, imagining the power required to propel this hunk of shaped steel to a speed far beyond that of a bullet.

Gesturing to the triplets, pre-teleportation, Cassandra nods and sets down the projectile with a click. “Getting any information on those three would probably be the best we could hope for. Keeping them from teleporting out of whatever trap we spring would be pretty much impossible without knowing how their powers work, and thanks to the war and the lack of detailed study of Evolved abilities, I think that might be a pipe dream at best.” Cassandra’s ability works well, but the mechanisms of exactly how it works are barely understood. Something with the eyes, they think.

“If it’s possible, we should put trackers into the cases and the guns. Just something that uses GPS or the cellular network or something satellite based. And if we can swing it, disable the guns somehow. Take out a circuit board, wire something in place that looks like it should go there but comes out of an old digital clock and ship them off that way. Don’t tell Praxis until after they’ve confirmed the rifles are back in their hands and out of our juristiction. Then in a separate shipment that’s off the books via sneakernet, get the boards back to Praxis that way. Guns like these…” She leans over to look at it again. “You won’t be able to find parts off the shelf unless you’ve got a source at the manufacturer or cannibalize other rifles like this.”

Looking to Choi by the wall, then Cooper, Cassandra swivels her chair to face both of them. “Want to check further on the cases? See where they went? Might get some ideas on who delivered them, who moved them from A to B, who was supposed to pick them up, and who ordered the equipment.” You’d be amazed at what people say when they don’t know that they could be witnessed.

“There's legal barriers we have to abide by in the handling of this technology, unfortunately. Due to the proprietary nature of their design — which, let me tell you, Praxis’ legal team reminded me of at length — if we open one of these up, damage them in any way, it could cause a massive problem for SESA. With people like you,” Choi motions to Cassandra, “plausible deniability in the modifications is unlikely, too.”

That thought tabled, Choi motions to the cases. “We can and will put tracking identifiers in the cases, to ensure safe delivery, but that's the best we can do. Whatever immaterial resources we can bring to or disposal,” that being Evolved abilities, “the better. They're harder to prove.” Case in point, Cassandra’s examination.

“Let's take a look at the other cases. We might as well be thorough.” Choi admits with a nod.

There is a look of disappointment, but Cooper nods in agreement. “Well, it was worth a thought and I still think putting a bit of bait out isn’t a bad idea,” he sighs out grabbing his coffee to sip, only to find it cold. Great. He glares at it as if it wronged him somehow and sets it down.

“But… yeah, let’s see what we get from the rest of these. It might give us some insight and help us plan for how to best track these people down.” He glances over at Choi, his expression grim, “Before more weapons like start showing up in the Safe Zone.” Who knows how much more is out there already. Fingers drum on the case next to him, as he considers it, brows suddenly lifting and he expression brightening some as he look at Cassandra.

“You brilliant woman,” Cooper starts, pointing at her, even though she hasn’t said anything. “Maybe we can get an idea of where some of Kalik’s storage spots are. Get some identities of some of the people he supplies. Get his attention if anything.” He scratches at the shadow of his jaw again, turning thoughtful.

Cassandra takes notes, getting to her feet to look at the cases, each helpfully marked with a serial number in white stencil on the side just below the silver Praxis logo. Jotting them down quickly, Cassandra lets her power wane, and just like that, the vision falls away. The sensation of breeze and cool vanishes as the lights slowly fade back in, the real world asserting itself as Cassandra’s power tapers off. She stands up straighter and unwinds her blindfold, holding it to her eyes to rub away the tears that accumulated there, picking up her notepad to refer to things.

“Let’s see…This one here was the test unit - it fired the most projectiles. This one…” She points to one on top of one of the piles. “Was the one in the pile of boxes that our victim was going for when the rat swarm hit, and the rest of them were stacked in that dugout in the basement wall.” She wrinkles her nose in thought, nodding after a second. “Yeah, I can do that. I think we should get a coffee machine down here first.”

It is going to take some time to go through every case’s past to figure out where they went between the crash site and a hole in the wall in a Safe Zone apartment. Luckily, with Cooper here and his knowledge of Staten Island gun traffic, they might get lucky.

“Give me about ten to grab a few things and we’ll get started?”

It’s time for a montage.

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