...And I Feel Fine


alia_icon.gif asi5_icon.gif devi_icon.gif gatter_icon.gif pride_icon.gif richard_icon.gif yi-min_icon.gif

Scene Title …And I Feel Fine
Synopsis Richard Ray asks his best minds to perform the impossible - save the world.
Date April 20, 2021

Raytech Industries Campus
Secure Boardroom

April 20, 2021
5:02 pm Local Time

It might raise some red flags in some people that they’re asked to leave their phones and any other wireless technology in a basket outside the boardroom before entering. Whatever this meeting involves, the security around it is extremely high.

Given the sort of things that Raytech Industries gets involved with, this might be something to be concerned about.

The boardroom chosen is an interior one without windows, the recessed lighting in the ceiling kept low although the slowly rotating hologram of the Earth and its magnetosphere adds further illumination in radiant shades of blue and violet.

Those perceptive may notice that on the back counter where there’s usually coffee and bottles of water, there’s a selection of alcoholic beverages instead.

That, too, is probably something to be concerned about.

Richard’s seated at the table already, his tie hanging a bit loose around his neck, a glass of something clear but probably not water in hand and the wolf-headed cane that he’s taken to carrying around leaned against the side of his chair. “Come on in,” he invites tiredly, “Have a seat. This is going to be the most important meeting we’ve ever had.” No sunglasses today; midnight-black eyes in full display, and shadows around them speaking of a lack of sleep.

"More important than the one where you called in half the country on topics they've since gone through great lengths to conceal?"

Asi's glibness is part of the joke, harkening back to the haranguing she gave during that meeting long ago. It's quickly forsaken in favor of gathering not one, but two beers from the selection in the back. With a flick of a glance cast in the direction of the holoprojected image in the center of the room, she ventures, "Or perhaps on the same level."

She feels naked without her devices— even though she supposes she herself counts as once these days— but contents herself with the double-fisted beverages. Slipping into a seat at the far end of the table away from the beverages and door, she leaves plenty of room for others to enter. "Don't mention It by name, and I'm here for the long haul," Asi assures, setting aside her second beer so she can twist off the cap of her first.

Devi steps into the room. Then leans back and steps back out. There’s a brief absence, the shuffling of thick boots on the floor outside, aaaannnddd she’s back. “Wait, so… this isn’t the holiday party.” She looks legitimately confused, gaze flicking from the line of booze to those present and back again. “Then…” She lifts a hand, index finger jutting down, and makes a swirling gesture at those present. “So then… orgy meeting?” Brow cocked, she side-steps towards the makeshift bar as if pulled unconsciously that-a-ways.

Asi pauses midsip of her beer, abruptly looking the way of Devi's unfamiliar presence. She glances back to Richard.

Gatter pauses as he hears Devi, arching an eyebrow and looking to the others. "We have those?" he asks, frowning. "Did I need to fill out a form to start getting notifications about that? Would've saved me some trouble…" he muses aloud.

His frown deepens as he catches sight of Richard, looking brooding and haunted; brooding doesn't seem out of character from what Gatter has seen of Richard Ray, but haunted seems a little moreso. Bemused, he follows Devi to the bar and sifts the booze for awhile, finally settling on an expensive-looking bottle of cognac to nab and take back to his seat, along with a glass; in Gatter's book, drinking straight from the bottle happens later in the festivities, after things have well and truly gotten wild.

This isn’t the holiday party. Ourania eyes the offerings of the bar critically. “Clearly not. I don’t see a single fucking bud on offer. Given the date, that’s just poor oversight.” She’s just a little too flat in her delivery, not deadpan but not annoyed either. Something’s gnawing at her as she dithers over what kind of drink she wants.

The answer is a lemon drop, but the ones she prepares herself pale in comparison to the ones she receives after her sets at Rossignol. “There’s good whiskey, though.” Which Pride is promptly going to ruin by adding sour mix and ice. What Asi requires two bottles for, the blonde only needs one glass to accomplish. She makes her way to the table, the double in her tumbler resting delicately against her clavicle.

A knowing look is exchanged with the man with the eyes like pitch. The empath focuses on him and nods her head once. I’m here with you. Then, she’s putting on a smirk and flashing it to Gatter. “I’ll make sure to cc you on the next one, Albert.

"Drunk holidays, orgies, and matters of incredibly awkward confidentiality. Yes, Mr. Gatter, take note: these are the three types of meetings that we have here at Raytech." That comes from the head of the Biotechnology Department in her pointedly accented voice: Yi-Min has appeared behind Ourania sometime in the meantime, already holding a filled brandy snifter up to her nose. The smooth, bone-white shape of her Talaria— the exoskeletal leg manufactured for her by Raytech— is on clear display beneath the rippling hems of her skirt, accentuating the little woman's posture she leans up against the bar.

"So, Richard. Which one will this be today?"

"Yes, please," Gatter nods appreciatively at Ourania's comment.

Yi-Min's comment draws a glance as she makes her appearance. "Doctor if we're using titles, s’il vous plaît," Gatter corrects off-handedly. Yi-Min's exoskeletal leg enhancement is noted briefly, but the majority of his attention is on Richard; he's more than a little curious as to the subject of this meeting himself, now.

"Doctor," Dr. Yeh immediately edits herself in a mild tone, accepting the correction without appearing to give it a second thought. After all, she's focused on the highest priority of all: her brandy.

Alia looks a bit sleepless as she comes through the door, having left all her stuff in her office other than her backpack and keychain. No wireless tech on either. Which just leaves, you know, her. What worries her most? She's got no idea what the meeting is about and she usually tries to stay on top of the bigger going ons.

The sight of the back bar? Alia pauses, and considers, before just keeping to a flip top refillable water bottle for now. Only way to find out what's going on is to wait until it's told, apparently.

“Let’s start with number three and we’ll see where the day goes from there, Doctor Yeh,” is Richard’s rather dry response, one hand coming up to rub at the bridge of his nose briefly, “And if they’d listened to me to begin with, Asi… well, would’ve and could’ves don’t matter now, I suppose.”

Shifting to sit up straighter, he waits for the last of the gathered to settle in before beginning.

“I’ll try and get to the point quickly. The background here, because I know some of you haven’t been read in to the situation, is that the terrorist organization known as Mazdak is, in fact, in the thrall of the entity known as Uluru. This entity was first recorded in Sumerian times, and has two notable abilities — one, it can effectively possess nearly any Evolv— SLC-positive individual, and two, it can alter the genetics of its host on the fly to give itself whatever abilities it wants.”

He pauses, “Interestingly, it’s never exhibited abilities we don’t have on record, which may indicate a lack of creativity on its part.”

Continuing on, “Whether or not it’s legitimately some form of deity or is the originator of evolved abilities, its intentions are undoubtedly malign for the world as a whole. It’s been imprisoned outside the bounds of fourth-dimensional time-space twice on record - once in ancient China, and once in the eighties by the Company, who were persuaded to erase their minds of the memory of the entire incident.”

“The part of this whole admittedly unbelievable scenario that’s salient to this meeting is that since escaping again during the Sunspot operation— “ He grimaces, a hint of guilt perhaps, “— it has in some way been systematically damaging the magnetosphere of Earth.”

Fingers touch the panel on the table’s edge, and the hologram shifts. The lines indicating the magnetosphere becoming erratic. Forming gaps, holes stretching down to the atmosphere.

Asi once again is arrested from her drink when Richard goes ahead and names the Entity, a pained expression on her face. "I just said…" she begins to mutter to herself, finally taking an aggrieved and long drink from her beer.

Once she's up for air, she inserts with some irritation, "It also needs to go on record that the person who has dealt with this being the longest has noted previously that it has some kind of memetic power, where the more it's talked about directly, it gains additional power, where being forgotten relegates it to obscurity in more than one way…" She slides a look to Richard before looking down the room at the mix of familiar and unfamiliar people. "And as much as Adam Monroe can go walk off a cliff, that bit of advice is one worth taking."

"So please," Asi indicates with a loose gesture of her beer. "If you have questions about it, don't mention It directly, by name. If you don't mind." Her brow lifts. "Or I'm out," she says, even as she looks to the map's shifting nature with a concerned slant taking her over. "… new and world-ending information be damned."

“You know…” Richard brings a hand up to rub against his forehead, “…ordinarily I’d be annoyed that people were still believing Monroe’s lying bullshit even after he was dead, but sure, whatever, we’ll not name it if that makes you feel better despite the fact that it has no such ability.”

“We’re not here to talk about dealing with it anyway.”

Alia stares at the map for a few moments. Then she does something so utterly uncharacteristic of herself that anyone in the room that knows her will be surprised. That's cuss words in Russian, German, Spanish, French, and English, in one precise sentence expressing a huge bit of frustration. Then, in something more coherent. "One solar flare, modern tech done. Not any favors to DNA either." Alia sets down the water bottle, heads to the bar, and pours herself an alarmingly large glass of straight vodka to start sipping at. It's going to be one of those days.

"Language," Gatter notes mildly and without any particular feeling behind it; he caught enough of Alia's profane outburst to understand what she's saying, but while he can understand the sentiment, right now his focus lies entirely on the problem at hand. He peers at the graphic intently, studying it. "What is the rate of the… deterioration? Do we know why these places in particular seem most affected, at present?" he asks, gesturing to the holes the holographic shows in the magnetosphere.

Asi finds herself looking back in Richard's direction, brow lifting when he asserts Monroe's dead. Her mouth flattens. One revelation at a time, and Gatter's asked a relevant question first.

Devi has pulled herself up onto the counter-become-temporary-bar and watches the room like one watches a circus and its ring leader… with a big ass grin. She sits forward, elbows on her knees and a bottle of tequila dangling from her fingertips between them. Unlike Gatter, she clearly has no qualms about tapping straight into the bottle. It’s not like she was going to share it, anyway.

“Well shit… It couldn’t find a faster way to off us all?” The stars tattooed around one eye and temple shift as she squints a bit more at the hologram display.

Any and of all of the less helpful replies by members present go ignored by Yi-Min, who only incrementally narrows her eyes at the hologram as Richard refers to it. The longer he goes on, the more rooted in ruminative stillness she becomes— the one exception being the methodical sips she is still taking from her brandy snifter.

"Following from the question posed by Dr. Gatter…" Yi-Min starts slowly in between these, soaking in the (to her) monochromatic swirls of the exhibition playing out. "For what purpose is… It trying to do this? What does it have to gain by doing this?"

When Richard pronounces Adam Monroe dead, a tear rolls down Ourania’s cheek, which she paws away quickly. “Tech is going to be the least of our worries. They want to reduce us to star stuff and start over.” While she sounds rattled, she also speaks with some sort of authority. Like she’s had some time to consider all of this.

Now, she piggybacks of Gatter’s question, pointing one slender finger in his direction and shaking it to indicate that she thinks he’s on to something. “Is the magnetosphere thin around Moab by any chance?” Ourania leans forward with a spark of interest in her eyes, rather than the hollowness that seemed to grip her before. But make no mistake, the spark is one that kindles horrified fascination.

“We always thought it was m-” The blonde catches herself, clearing her throat and covering the moment with a drink. “Mallett’s device interfering with other interruptions to the— The timestream.” On that part, she may as well just lay it out. It isn’t like people in the room haven’t heard of temporal manipulation before. “What if it’s something else?

“I don’t have that information— as to the locations of the weak spots, although if I were to make a wild guess I’d estimate that they corresponded to the cities that the entity has obliterated from existence,” says Richard steadily, “As for its motivation, that’s unknown, but combined with its attempt at terraforming a portion of Antarctica into a pre-humanity state - those files are available to you all under Operation: Kadath - and its repetition of the word ‘Unite’ in Sumerian, we have reason to believe that its intent is to regress the planet into a more pliable state while also merging the local timeline branches into one.”

He taps the panel once more, and the regression progresses on the hologram - followed by a sudden, massive flare as a coronal mass ejection washes over the planet depicted, which no longer has any defense to protect it.

“Based on current calculations, we estimate that humanity - and most other species, unless you count tardigrades - will be extinct by December. This event is occurring simultaneously in all local timelines, preventing any evacuation scenario short of the Itinerant Dawn showing back up in orbit.”

He draws in a breath, letting that hang in the air a moment.

“I am, uh, participating in a hail mary effort to recover a technology from the root timeline that may enable us to reinforce the magnetosphere in… the sufficiently industrialized timelines, at least.”

The hologram’s dismissed, and he looks around the room, “But there’s too much at stake to put all our eggs in one basket. I want contingency options. This is where you come in.”

Asi finishes the last of her first drink in a large gulp. So they're not dealing with the Entity head-on, just dealing with damage control. Afterward she looks to Yi-Min for her salient question, her voice quieter as she speaks back across the table. "I'm given to understand that for it, this is personal. There is a reunion, a resurrection coming, or so its believers cry. It wants something back that it lost, for reasons not really known to anyone, and what exactly that is is up to conjecture. I theorize it is family that was lost to it millennia ago because of the greed of man. Ultimately, theirs is a very personal goal, and it doesn't seem keen on sharing it or working with anyone to achieve it without going so far as to…"

She nods toward the map, turns over the information that entire cities, plural are missing. "Destroy everything."

With a sigh, Asi considers the news further and rubs a hand along her jaw. The openness in her mindset is unusual for her, but so is drinking at a meeting. Call it a recent shift in life priorities. "The last time your people got involved in crossing timelines, It was let out of its cell in the first place. Hopefully there's not anything left in its prison that'll be let out by opening that door again."

Morosely, she looks back toward Richard, thinking on her own for only a moment before she probes, "What are you asking us to look into? Underground habitats? Recreation of the Itinerant Dawn? Development of some stabilizer locally in case your hail mary fails?"

Gatter stares at the graphic, his face without expression, and, quite uncharacteristically, even he seems to fall still and silent; he just sits there, his hands folded in front of his mouth, peering at the nightmare image Richard has on display.

It's only after Asi finishes speaking that he moves, nodding slowly.

"Okay," he says at last. "Question. You say this is happening in all local timelines. Do we have solar data from all of them? I mean, beyond the impending mass ejection — do we know if everything is identical? Can we get that data at all?"

“I can request data from one other timeline for comparison,” Richard replies with a slight shake of his head to Gatter, “The others we can reach— ah— no longer possess a satellite network that’s reasonably accessible for solid readings.”

At the jab from Asi, he purses his lips and doesn't defend himself from that comment except: “It’s not my people this time.”

One shoulder raises in a shrug, “As for what? I’ll leave that up to you. I’m not a scientist, I don’t— know what’s possible. That said, you have access to everything in our Advanced Science database. The plans for the Dawn’s engine, the Sirens, all our temporal-spatial resonance information, I— go fucking wild, you have all the access you need. Just don’t let the information leak into the public.”

Alia stares a moment at a wall, then apropos of nothing, "Electro- or magneto- kinetics, the Dawn engine, and a big power plant?" Wait, is she literally considering just .. making a new magnetosphere? At least she isn't adding blackjack, hookers, or requiring it be able to run Doom. And as a rough idea, it's at least plausible.

Upon hearing Asi's dig at Richard, Yi-Min merely lowers her head slightly with the shadow of a wry expression in spite of herself, but does not add further to it. There is enough to digest here without poking at past wounds.

"Destroying the world for the sake of family? How… terribly romantic." That's definitely wry, though at this point Dr. Yeh's expression is both smooth and completely unreadable.

"But if you hope for us to achieve… anything useful whatsoever, then yes, Dr. Gatter is on the correct track. We will need data to work with. Hard numbers from any of the assorted timelines you say that this is affecting. We cannot pull models from out of thin air. I truly hate to even bring them up, for the memory of how helpful they have been in our previous meetings is all too fresh in my mind, but are you working together with the DoE on this?"

Collusion was still far too much to hope for, no doubt. Yet, if there were even the smallest chance of it…

Asi narrows her eyes on hearing that it's not Richard's 'people' activating cross-timeline travel maneuvers this time. She turns that thought over slowly in her hand, looks across the table idly while uncapping her second beer. "One is better than none," she muses to Richard's reply to Gatter's question.

She slides a look after to Alia when she thinks aloud. "I'm not sure I follow what you're suggesting, but at the very least we'd have to solve for a power source, given the Dawn required Nowak, who as far as we know…" Well, they don't, and Asi shrugs to that effect.

"Engine adjusted to boost electromagnetickinesis." Alia offers. It's a long shot, and she'd admit it. "Give us way to patch holes. For now anyway." She shrugs and sighs.

“Someone is taking care of It, though, right?” Devi looks up from the bottle dangling between her knees with a dour expression… though whether it's a result of the horrifying hologram or the fact that there’s not enough tequila in this room to erase it from memory, is up for debate. Tequila!

Devi rubs the back of her neck as her dark gaze begins a volley from one person, one idea, one twist - to another.

For some time, Ourania gives Gatter her attention, mulling over the data points he’s requesting. When Richard speaks of where he can collect that information, her eyes don’t stray. “The only resources I know of in the Wasteland went up with the OD,” she laments.

Tick, tick, tick, tick, tock, tick, tock, tock, tick, tock, tock, tock, tock, tock, tick, tick…

She shakes her head, both to indicate dissatisfaction with her own thoughts and as if to break loose some cobwebs gathering there. “There might be something there to be salvaged, but I don’t have a point of contact there anymore.” She doesn’t recommend the elder of his sisters as a conduit for that sort of communication portal. She’s suffered enough over this past year.

Tick, tick, tick, tock, tock, tick, tock, tick, tock, tick, tock, tick, tock, tick, tock, tick, tock, tick, tock, tick, tock…

“Have we considered just giving Inanna back?” At this, Ourania scrubs a hand over the side of her face, subtly nudging at her ear before letting that hand be used to gesture toward Richard for some kind of response. It’s one she doesn’t wait for, because she anticipates what it will be. Already, she’s moving on with a dismissive wave of that same hand.

Tick, tock, tick, tock, tick, tock, tick, tock, tick, tock, tick, tock, tick, tock…

Ourania’s eyes narrow, head turning in Gatter’s direction again, though she looks past him with a troubled expression. “I posed a thought experiment to my partner.” This much is a lie, and she tells it without so much as blinking. “I asked him to picture a scenario in which an angry god decided to wipe out the planet.” She smiles ruefully. If anyone in this room had doubts that she knew about the problem presented in this meeting before it was called, they shouldn’t any longer. “Now, my partner was… brought up with religion.” There’s no disdain that comes with that statement, it’s just one she wasn’t sure how to phrase initially. “He spoke of Noah and the great flood.


The blonde scientist’s face lights up with a manic glee, her focus catching her colleague again for just a moment before sweeping around the room. “God, everyone involved is going to hate me for saying this, but we need an Ark!” Ourania points a finger in her boss’ direction, again with the intention of stilling him before he can break in over her. “Shut up, Richard.”


And she’s off again. “The Entity is a luddite!” she proclaims, her wagging finger slapping against the surface of the table in front of her while she wears a big grin. “We have something they don’t!” Sorry, Asi. Ourania’s completely forgot about de-personifying in all of her excitement. “Fucking technology!” Now she’s drawing a loop in the air with that finger of hers. “What they’re trying to do? Even before they decide to turn us all to stardust, once that first interplanetary coronal mass ejection hits? Our tech is toast!

Fingers snap, punctuating the thought as well as her own enthusiasm. Closing her eyes a brief moment, she inhales deeply, as though taking in the hush that comes just before the revelation of something truly great.

“And this is why I know my plan would work,” Ourania insists, her attention back squarely on Richard again. “That antediluvian bitch can’t figure out how to change channels on a television! We build one of those Siren cages? They don’t get out.” Finally, finally, she leaves space for his response, the look she fixes Richard with a challenge. “I can do this,” she breathes out, the intensity having been bled out from her, leaving only earnest sincerity. “I am strong enough for that much. I am smart enough. Let me make the plans.” It takes effort not to let the breath catch in her throat, her mouth pressed into a line while her brows form a plaintive curve.

“Someone has to buy you time.”

“We are working with the Exterior, yes,” Richard informs Yi-Min with a slight shake of his head at her apparent suspicion that they aren’t, “This hail mary plan is their entire idea— we don’t have time to worry about factional conflicts or disagreements right now, this is the future of the entire human race we’re talking about.”

“We aren’t going to come up with a solution in one meeting,” he admits then, “It’s just something I want you all to start thinking on, and working on— Valerie will be in charge once I’m gone, due to Kaylee’s current, ah, status. You’re all some of the finest…”

Then Doctor Pride starts talking, and he looks to her, curious as to her line of thought there. “As cliche as it may be, building Arks is in the Cardinal family blood, it seems. I wouldn’t be opposed.” Then her next idea, and he grimaces slightly. It’s clear this is an argument they’ve already had.

“Fine. Work on it. But find different bait. You are not expendable.”

While she’d beg to fucking differ, Richard, Ourania purses her lips and sighs, relenting on that particular argument for the time being. “I will do my best,” is as close to a promise as she’ll provide. One thing Richard knows well of her after all these years is that O will not make a promise to him she has no intention of keeping. She may fail in her endeavor, but not by intent. “I’ll put a proposal together for a new Arcology and submit it to yourself and Valerie for review and feedback. If there’s anything you’d like me to consider ahead of time, you know how to reach me.”

Then Pride falls silent, morose, and brings her attention back to her cocktail.

Asi in turn lifts her head, glancing up Devi's way. She's not exactly familiar with the woman, but she thinks back— remembers who she could see through the drones circling Detroit the day Praxia fell. The question from her feels pertinent, but she's kept her quiet. Now she breaks it first with a slow breath, thumb pushing against the bridge of her nose before she resumes a two-handed grip around her second beer. Maybe she should have picked something stronger for this after all.

"Humanity's never successfully done more than try to deal with it. We, collectively, have only managed to put the problem off for the next generation to deal with… as under- or unprepared as our predecessors."

She lapses into silence, brow furrowed at the idea of just giving Inanna back. At the realization there's likely no stopping what's been set in motion, merely making plans to outlast it. At the suggestion to make a cage of Sirens.

Because doesn't that last one just sound familiar.

"Unless someone else has a better idea, a hardened shelter not unlike the Commonwealth Arcology," Yes, she caught that Ark reference, "would be my vote. Time being what it is, expanding on something already established would save us plenty of it. I can do some research into potential underground shelters we could buy, convert, increase the shielding on, and so on." Asi tips her second drink back to herself. "And if we start from scratch, we start from scratch. We'll need to start digging a hole yesterday."

Her eyes drift up to the projection. "How long did you say we have, again?"

“November. December, at the latest,” Richard says quietly. He’s aware of just how little time that is.

"May… have something to build on." Alia hedges to Asi's comment. "Some old safe places under the wreckage." Her hand motions towards Manhattan of all places.
"Former Phoenix head bunker is small, but well secured."

Asi can't read minds to know specifically where Alia's gesturing to, but she's familiar enough with history to guess where that place is. She shifts a look in Yi-Min's direction quietly. Of them all— that she knows, anyway— only Yi-Min had been anywhere near Manhattan in the last year, and there were horrors to be found there.

"Small is a start, but we'll need something large in the end," she posits carefully.

Gatter, for his part, remains silent, staring at — or perhaps past — the display, letting the conversation wash over him. The Entity. Inanna.


Oh, he's sure that they're applicable and important in some way… but the context they're useful for comes at a point in the future that falls after this particular bottleneck. Timelines represent a division of history into different threads of potentiality, but this… this represents a division of a different sort. A severing — a cold, surgical cut of the cord of human history into before and after… and, as matters stand, that after is slated to be a cold, empty place devoid of humanity.


"An Ark…" Gatter muses aloud, his gaze moving to Ourania. "To carry humanity through a flood — not of water this time, but of fire," Gatter pronounces, nodding slowly. "There is a certain… poetic appeal to such a plan. Though if we're going to take this route… yes, time is of the essence. We have to preserve more than just humanity, though — we'd need to potentially be able to reseed an entire ecosystem… or to build up to that point, once the danger has passed. And knowledge! We must safeguard the knowledge humanity has gathered over the millenia…"

For a moment Gatter falls silent. "I'm going to have to think on this. Mr. Ray, I'll look forward to that data whenever you're able to attain it for me; until then, I'll make myself freely available to whatever team or teams are working on solutions to this problem. Until January, at least," he deadpans.

“Gathering the animals, two by two,” Ourania muses flatly. She stares down into her drink with a frown and a crease in her brow. Her head lifts and she turns her attention to Richard, then to Asi. “What about Yamagato? Aren’t they working on something in… Washington or whatever?” There’s a pang that goes through her when she thinks of the Pacific Northwest. Images of forests burning flash before her eyes. “I know we’re hardly on best terms, but if they have the equipment to dig quickly… Maybe we make a purchase.” She’s under no illusions that Yamagato Industries is going to give up their project.

Yi-Min's eyes had widened slightly at Richard's clarification about the Department of Exterior— that collaboration was not only on the table, but that it had been their idea to begin with.

It does not take long for her surprise to transform into quiet understanding, and then into resolve. "Quite some ideas being put forth," she comments dryly in what is perhaps the understatement of the hour. There is no humor in her tone, though.

What is there when Dr. Yeh next speaks is a brooding mixture of hope and doubt, even as she meets Asi's glance sidelong. "I would certainly not be so quick to call anything in Manhattan safe right now. There are monsters to be found there, and I am not speaking figuratively. Similarly…. I would not be so quick to trust Yamagato again with something so vital, no matter what it is they have."

Strong words, but spoken directly from recent catastrophic personal experience.

“I find myself in agreement with Doctor Yeh on that point,” says Richard with a slight shake of his head, “There are a number of projects out there in the world that’ve been abandoned that we may be able to make use of— and we’ll have temporal inertia on our side, at least.”

He draws in a breath, holding up a hand, “Do your research, talk to each other, access the information available to you. I don’t know when I’ll be returning, or even— I don’t know when, so in the interim, Valerie will be serving as CEO. Go through her directly for any approvals.”

A look over to Odessa, “I’ll have another project for you to work on too— we’ll talk after.”

“Are there any final questions?”

“Believe me, Dr. Yeh, I’d sooner cut their hearts out,” figuratively, of course, “but I am not above taking advantage of their technology to further our own ends. I don’t expect or even desire a partnership. I simply expect they’ll respond well to the color of money.” Dr. Pride delivers her sardonicism with a conspiratorial edge. “We can discuss this later,” she grants.

Dark brows furrow when Richard informs her he has a project for her. Her interest piqued, one of Ourania’s brows lifts and she inclines her head in acknowledgement. “Certainly. You’re the boss.” Then she shakes her head. “No questions from me.”

Asi considers her drink before shaking her head once. "Go to Valerie for approvals," she repeats. Nothing worth talking about now, here, it'd seem. She'll handle that later. For now, she wonders just how they'll be remotely prepared by November for this.

It feels like it'd take a miracle.

"No," Gatter replies evenly. "None currently, beyond that request for whatever solar data may be available from these other timelines."

"I may have further questions once I've had some time to research, but in the event you are unavailable, I will direct them to Valerie," he says, his tone unusually somber. Already his mind is attacking the problem, the clocks beginning to slip once more out of time as he considers different aspects of a potential solution.

"Nor from me," Yi-Min confirms. For a moment, her gaze on Richard grows more piercing as her mind strays onto the ramifications of his personal journey. The magnitude of what they had all been tasked with returns her earthward, and she shakes her head, the weight of both things coming together as one in her expression.

As such, her last remark to Richard is much less a question than it is an adjuration: "Come back safe."

Alia has a frown. But whatever is upsetting her enough to break her poker face now is something she saves for later. For now she sighs and rubs her forehead. And starts, in her head, drafting the emails to her coworkers about things she'll be requesting, and/or has access to that might be of use to their ideas.

Doesn't mean Richard isn't going to get a whole lot of frustrated words, likely not in coherent sentence form, tossed at him later, however.

“That’s the hope,” Richard says with a faint smile to Yi-Min, rising from his seat after dismissing the holographic display hovering over the table.

“Alright. Now let’s go save the world, everyone. Each in our own way.”

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