Breaking The News


aislinn_icon.gif alia_icon.gif bella_icon.gif barazani_icon.gif devi_icon.gif devon_icon.gif elisabeth_icon.gif jared_icon.gif kaylee2_icon.gif lou_icon.gif luther_icon.gif seren_icon.gif warren_icon.gif

Scene Title Breaking The News
Synopsis Kaylee gives the employees of Raytech the news about Richard's disappearance.
Date January 6, 2020

Raytech Industries

The conference room was slowly filling up. The small amphitheater is the only place that could fit so many people. The sloping bank of seats rise above a stage at the front of the room. Unlike most meetings. There is no podium or projector screen. This wasn’t a safety meeting or presentation.

Kaylee stands on the stage to one side softly talking to the head of security, Babar Barazani aka Bob to most and a few others. Not many have seen the telepath since she took up a position with the NYPD scouts, but in the last few days she’s been seen in the halls. Some of those that know the company owner murmur amongst themselves about her appearance, with her sharp jacket, pencil line skirt, and heels.

“Think she got canned?” a man says softly to the person sitting next to him. “Seemed like such a longshot to begin with.”

A few rows up, a woman smacks her friends arm and jerks her chin in the direction of a familiar hulking form most haven’t seen in as much time. Leaning over, she asks, “Is that Bellamy? What’s he doing here?” The woman next to her leans over and whispers something to her and both giggle.

Even further up, one of the scientists leans over to the colleague and with a worried tone, says, “I heard something happened to Mr. Ray and Mrs. Sumter is taking over.”

Rumors. They were why she was calling this meeting. Misinformation was the worst thing for a business like this. However, as people filter in, Kaylee presses fingertips to her temple and breaths out. While most people were contending with just the growing murmur, she has the hum of their minds battering at her mental shields. They were excited, worried… somewhere anxious. It was loud and growing with each body.

“Why did I decide to do this again?” Kaylee says to no one in particular.

Jared Harrison offers a slow half-smile at the young woman and murmurs, "I'd say it's because you're a glutton for punishment, but we both know it's way more simple. Because it needs to be done." His teasing is gentle, a way to give her a support to balance against, though everyone who already knows what's happening is worried. The older man settles into a chair on the dais, both hands propped on the cane he's been using off and on. The cold is making his leg ache badly. His sharp blue eyes gaze out over the assembling staff members, keeping mental note of some of the comments just because it's good to know who's saying what around the water cooler. He's also watching for his daughter to arrive — though she's not RayTech, a united front is definitely desirable.

Alia meanwhile settles in, giving a nod to Jared and Kaylee both. She kind of just sinks into the chair, with a muttered grumble more than any real verbal greeting or words. Hopefully they'll forgive her for the tired and somewhat frazzled hairdo, she did at least bother to put on the business suit instead of one of the more casual attires she's more fond of.

Slipping in from another meeting, Seren takes stock of those already here with a lift of their brow. Something unsettled rides in their gaze, visible in the slope of their shoulders and the manifestation their familiar presents with today. Baird looks remarkably like a dragon, slender reptilian body all too long and black. His tail tapers into wisps of dark smoke, the undersides of his paws and inside of his nose a violent shade of green. His amber eyes blink balefully, studiously over the top of Seren’s shoulder as he piggybacks along on their sweatervest. No playful nature today.

Taking a seat somehow doesn’t feel right, so instead of putting themselves in the middle of everyone, Seren sweeps to the side of the door and remains standing along the back of the auditorium, grey gaze downcast.

Warren suddenly walks into the hall with the rest of the employees instead of taking one of the executive entrances, haphazardly wearing an actual suit with a chromium hand poking out. He walks all the way down the aisle until he reaches the stairs to the stage, then sits on the stairs.

His sleeve is raised, pressing a few soft spots on the reflective metallic flesh. He clears his throat as his voice suddenly comes through the speakers. "Attention Raytech employees, I have no idea what's going on, please stop asking me! Thank you." and then he shuts his feed off.

Bella’s jacket hangs, unbuttoned, over her shoulders, a cloak less against the chill left outside and more against the missile weapons of fortune. A meeting like this, falling outside the normal rhythm of administrative operations, never bodes well. It is the stuff of sudden downturns, emergency layoffs, and unexpected legal trouble. Really they ought to provide drinks for such gatherings. Really she ought to have smuggled in a flask. She takes stock of what faces and backs-of-heads she recognizes and, spotting Seren taking a lean by the entrance, chooses the nearest safe social port. She steps past them, smiling a greeting and then adopting a similar posture a friendly space to one side. “Three’s not a crowd, I hope,” she says, comment directed more to Baird than his conjurer.

A broad boot catches the door behind Bella. Devi's form melts in through the crack and stops short. The near-empty stage calls out the oddity of Kaylee's solo appearance all the more. "Oof." The biker bitch casts a warning look back as the inanimate 'panic bar' gooses her backside before turning a more quizzical look on Bella and Seren. "Wha's goin' on, Little Bird?"

Devi continues to wring a red rag over her fingers in some futile effort to wipe grease from them. Her camo-print beater in shades of electric blue, black, and white hides the smears well enough, while her jeans do not. Her dark eyes cut back to the crowd and then the stage expectantly. Impatiently.

The silent form of Luther Bellamy, former Chief of RayTech Physical Security before he quietly resigned his position, lurks at the corner of the room. Though he'd been seen and admitted onto the campus by the residents living in the apartments a few times, it's the first he's stepped foot into the main office building proper since the summer. He people watches by habit, and in one case studies the odd shoulder dragon on Seren, brow briefly furrowed at the sight of the creature. A hand lifts, scratching at the side of a longer beard fluffing out his features and perhaps exacerbating the less-than-professional appearance he carries himself with.

By contrast, Lou Marconi the co-head of security joins the space beside the man in a sleek black suit typical of her look. Her discerning gaze scans the room to take note of who's arrived, who's still yet to come, who's missing in action. Lou might not be wearing any visible AEGIS armor, but one noteworthy change of her status has shifted towards something more serious than the usual - the presence of an XLRAD Banshee pistol and accompanying battery pack hangs off holstered on a belt.

To Bella's quip, Baird turns his head in her direction. In lieu of a proper response, he snorts, a trail of green smoke coming from his nose before it quickly disperses. He gives a little shake of his horned head, it lifting off of Seren's shoulder to reveal a deep purple underside that streaks down his front past what can visibly be seen.

"Bella," Seren greets in a murmur, their arms coming to a tight fold before them. They shuffle a step to the side, a bit closer to Bella to make more room for Devi out of the way of the door. "Miss Devi," they say, seeming like they might muster a small smile…

Until they look forward again to the stage. Then the smile pulls to a frown, and the fold of their arm stiffens. "Just… rumors. About why Mr. Ray's not here," Seren clarifies, even though the question might have been about them in particular. "I think Ms. Kaylee's going to address it."

Despite having a day job — and a busy one at that — Elisabeth's focus right now is on the situation Kaylee is about to announce. And given the fact that she's married to the man, being here seems a good idea. The blonde comes into the room accompanied by Devon Clendaniel, a well-known face in his own right in this building as Jared's grandson. She nods briefly to the people standing just at the door but she doesn't pause there, instead making her way through the crowd of department heads and others to join Kaylee and her father. A united front indeed, despite Warren's apparent lack of knowledge of the situation.

Though he scans the crowd and notes familiar faces, Devon follows in Elisabeth’s wake. Kaylee and Jared are given small nods as he slips by them to take up a position behind the rest of the family. His arms fold over his chest, expression almost distant in thought. The slight cant of his head, likely noticed most easily by Liz and Jared, tells he's listening even if he appears to be distracted.

“Point,” Kaylee says to Jared, despite the pressure on her ability, this was the best way to deal with it before the rumors invade any further into the company halls.

Warren’s arrival gets a worried and slightly guilty glance that is then turned to Luther and Liz both, whether they see it or not. She had avoided telling her other big brother for a reason. “Showtime,” Kaylee finally tells the others, moving to the center of the stage, the sound of her heels echoing faintly as those noticing slowly quiet down.

“Hello, everyone,” Kaylee greets the crowd, a touch self-consciously. The small mic attached to her ear, ensures that everyone in the room can hear her. “I doubt that many of you expected to see me up here today.” It’s been awhile since she had to do anything like this.

New faces are noted as she scans the ground. “For those of you new, since I was last here, my name is Kaylee Ray-Thatcher. I own this company with my siblings and I was once COO.” Kaylee lets that sink in for a moment, collecting her thoughts. Fingers moves to tuck stray strands of hair behind her ear, only to freeze when she spots Seren and more importantly, Baird. It’s his dark appearance that stuns the acting CEO, at least until she noticed the color on his nose.

A sigh of relief escapes the woman and cheeks faintly flush, but she continues.. Avoiding looking that way, which is good. Bella gets a reprieve from the animosity the woman has for the scientist.

“I’ll try to make this brief for you. I know y’all have projects and research waiting for you,” Kaylee offers in a way of apology.

Taking a breath breath, Kaylee musters up the strength to get through the next part. “Richard Ray has been kidnapped.” It’s delivered like a cop giving a briefing, devoid of personal feelings and filled with calm. “I can’t get into the details, but I assure you that everything is being done to find him and bring him back.” As it sinks in, voices around the room start to rise. The sound threatening to drown the telepath, so she holds back anything more awaiting a moment of calm with an air of patience.

Aaaaand that's part of the reason Elisabeth is here, backing up Kaylee. Her position as the Lieutenant of NYPD SCOUT is well known, and she'll field whatever questions she can without compromising the investigation.

The look that Kaylee sends Baird is indistinguishable to Seren, who interprets it as one sent their way. They settle back almost against the wall, at least until a growl comes from Baird who's nearly squished by it. "Sorry, buddy." they murmur, still looking put off. When Kaylee gets on to releasing the news into the air, the fold in Seren's arms tighten, but they don't seem particularly shocked by the news. Instead, they turn to Devi at their side.

"I'm sure she's right. That they're doing everything. His wife's police, after all," Seren says, but they don't sound entirely certain. "They have to be."

Devi's shoulders stutter forward.

Everything else freezes. Everything. Externally, every muscle down to her dead expression. Internally, every thought deaf. Funny that she can hear her blood rushing in her ears, seeing as her heart has also simply… stopped.

That's what that pain is, right?

Devi doesn't acknowledge Seren's optimistic assessment. Seconds tick by. Little Bird's words must travel a long dark way to reach the biker. The woman's pupils have spilled over into her irises and threatened to breach the boundaries there, sharp spears and sunflares of darkness leaching into the whites of her eyes. A deeply cut singular wrinkle forms between her brows.

There's no answers on the other side, the big picture schematic. No connection in the gears and cogs. Nothing that gives any peace of purpose to why Toots would be…

Blink. Devi's eyes are a deep natural chocolate and her jaw tenses visibly. "Yeah…" She agrees on a low slung growl, gaze flitting from one stage guest star to another. "Means they're doing everything legally possible."

Her right side twitches as she locks her knee into place, heel thudding down. Stay. The rag creaks in her grip. Listen. Learn. Then… well, all's fair in love and war.

Aislinn Graves had been one of the first to filter into the room and had been quiet through most of the lead up and proceedings so far, simply sitting near the front of the gathered crowd with a mildly disinterested look on her face. But when the news of that Richard Ray has been kidnapped - not just missing, but actually somehow kidnapped - comes to light, she nearly chokes on the bottle of juice she has in hand.

"I'm sorry, kidnapped?" It's not really a question meant for Kaylee so much as it is reiterating it to make sure that yes, this is real. "An' how in th' hell did that happen?" This is clearly all very interesting to the agrokinetic. This will certainly be something to talk about later.

Alia remains silent. Those who know her best recognize the "half my attention is elsewhere" look the technopath occasionally wears when working on a problem but not to the point of just leaving her body completely. It is overhearing Devi's comment that earns a slight twitch of a smile, but no verbal comment.

“Right now,” Devon interjects with a look at Devi. “Legally is the angle we have to work with.” Until we know more goes unsaid, but it rests in the weight of his words. “As for how.” That's given more to the room as a whole, and he slants a look to Kaylee and Elisabeth, to let them field that one. Them being law enforcement, that's more in their wheelhouse.

Warren listens to Kaylee's announcement, considering it for a long moment. Then he immediately stands, chromium fluid filling into his eyes as he heads over to one of the speakers sat off to the side from some earlier event.

He reaches out with his cybernetic arm and immediately smashes it to the ground with enough force to shatter it open. Then starts digging through it, ripping parts out as he rapidly starts constructing something small.

Robobo tries to warn him against it, and guards are immediately beginning to approach.

When he stands, it's with a strange gun looking device with the speaker attached on the end, and a wire gets shoved directly into Robobo's stomach, shutting the little monkey down as the device starts apparently charging with an increasingly loud hum.

This isn't the first time people have seen Warren freak out, but it's definitely the most scarily quiet time.

Guards, trained and prepared for situations like this involving him, immediately go for a strategy that always works. One tackles him from behind, while the other immediately kicks the device from his hand, which fires a sonic burst at the floor that propels it into a wall and causes the device to shatter.

Warren is held still as one of the guards pretty quickly gives him an injection to calm him, another looking up at Kaylee apologetically.

Bella guards her reaction carefully, a lifetime of masking her feelings coming to her aid. Her stiffening posture, the tension in her jaw, the twisting of her lips- all of this can easily be interpreted as the appropriate reaction of ‘distress’. What echoes within her, what she refuses to let manifest, is a troubling mix of fearful memory…

Dark fingers gloved in black leather corporealize from shadow, an ever-so-light touch against the sides of her neck as that ephemeral, whispering voice greets, "You're going to want to turn right at the light, if you please… and then straight for a bit. Some people would like to have a few words with you about matters of importance." Turn right…

…and a deep satisfaction.

What’s most difficult for Dr. Sheridan is keeping the smile from reaching her eyes. It’s a task made somewhat easier, or at least less pressing, when Warren gathers all the available attention from the space. By the time the hubbub subsides, she’s in command of herself, eyes ahead, brows canted into a well-constructed attitude of concern. Oh no. A kidnapping you say? How awful.

Luther furrows his brow, mouth thinning into a flat line upon the delivery of the real news. His shoulders tense and stiff, he exhales long and slow through his nose as he stares around at others' reactions. Warren's movement catches his attention, and as if in recognition of the other man's upset, pushes the former security head to move. Quickly.

The guards are on it, though. Lou is alongside Luther, passing the man by half a pace swifter, hand on the sonic pistol holstered by her side. The sequence following, well, it's SOP. Lou waits until the sedative looks to be working, but eventually trails her way to where the impromptu Robobo-powered device lies. Not a beat missed, she picks up the materials and strides off to dispose of it, metal monkey and all. Bye Robobo.

In the end, Luther's gaze lands back on Kaylee. He gives the barest of nods to her. Keep going.

Her brother’s reaction is not unexpected, but that doesn’t stop her from jumping when he smashes the speaker. Lips press tight in disapproval, which behind her Bob just slowly presses a patient hand to his face. Just a day in the life of this crazy place.

Kaylee waits for the guards to do their work, calmly and patiently, hands folded in front of her. The only time she reacts is when Lou grabs Robobo, touching the arm of one of the guards and sending them after the other woman. As it all calms, Kaylee catches the nod, which she returns.

All this wasn’t helping the light headache forming behind her eyes, still she raises her hands to invoke calm and continues. “Please, I know it was just as much of a shock for us.” Kaylee feels sick with her own worry, so she understands. She wanted to be tearing apart the city, but… they had to keep up appearances and give the authorities a chance.

Bob steps forward at a wordless prompt from the acting CEO, the man’s voice is gruff as he answers Asilinn’s questioned, “Your guess is as good as mine as to how it happened. Despite our best efforts they still found a way.” He jaw works for a moment, it was bothering him that this one slipped past his team. “Because of this, we are working to address the hole in Raytech’s security. Till then there will be a few more measures put into place. All guests will be escorted around campus by at least one security guard at all times, even if they are a regular here at Raytech.” There is at least one person makes a sound of protest a few rows back from the stage. “Hey! You want to go and get kidnapped, be my guest.”

Bob might have launched into a lecture, if Kaylee doesn’t touch his arm. “For the foreseeable future,” Kaylee speaks up again. “I will be acting as CEO until we get him back.” There is a small smile, as her looks over the gathered employees, “And we will get him back. My brother is not so easily disposed of.” She believes that with all of her being. “But, I’m pretty sure you all know that.”

Warren's reaction makes Elisabeth and Jared Harrison both wince with the same expression in uncanny sync. This is why she'd hoped Warren could be told in private — he hardly ever shows up to such meetings! Pulling in a slow breath, Elisabeth joins Kaylee at the front of the stage. She doesn't need the mic to be heard clearly.

"At this time, a person of interest is in SESA custody and we expect that more information will be forthcoming." Her blue flit to some particular people in the audience (Devi, I'm talking to you!) as she assures, "All avenues available to us are being utilized to their fullest. This is an ongoing investigation and while we will keep you all abreast as much as possible, understand that the more speculation and rumor gets out, the faster real leads get buried. So please try to keep it in mind."

She steps back and hands it back off to Kaylee, because all she's able to speak to is the police end.

Seren settles uncomfortably, both at Devi's mistrust of the situation as much as Elisabeth's announcement regarding the person of interest. A strange feeling prickles on their neck, courtesy of a flick of Baird's serpentine, neon green tongue. They lift a hand to rub at the site, distracted.

The situation is uncomfortable, as is the apparent normalcy in the handling of Warren. Seren darts an apologetic look at Bella. "Can you let me know if I miss anything else important?" they ask, already moving off back to the door before hearing a response one way or the other. They don't offer any excuses, just nimbly wriggle their way back through the auditorium doorway and out into the hall.

Devi watches Warren’s knee-jerk reaction with a calculated eye - literally, the kind that has her pupils expanding rapidly. Even as she follows pieces of his work, she is unmoved. Even as the swarm down, she is unblinking. Her gaze follows the device, not the man. Until it’s not there anymore. Only then does she see him, in the aftermath. Drugged. And, not the good kind. The biker barely represses a shudder of revulsion, Seren’s departure a well-timed distraction.

The raven-haired bitch turns her back on the stage, jarring the panic-bar on the door with a loud clack. This time her comments aren’t disguised as a low growl, seeing as that mattered fuck all. No, this time she speaks up, husky voice carrying over a shoulder. “SESA custody. Sure. Not your custody. Not Raytech’s custody. Let’s just heel, sit, and wait by that game of telephone. I don’t know about you, but I’d’ve preferred my confession first hand.” One need not be a betting man to wage a good sum on just how heavy that hand might be.

The door doesn’t hit her on the ass on her way out. It swings in towards the auditorium with a forcible slam, dulling the sound of a larger crash of the fancy tech display case just outside.

Alia sighs and stands up, heading out to follow after Devi, perhaps to calm her. Or perhaps to at least try and reassure her. Either way, Alia exit, following the crashing sounds, at least one SPOT tagging along behind her.

Luther remains quiet, looming from his stalled positioning halfway from the wall to Warren's takedown. He turns his attention to the louder commotion as Devi storms away, angled brows lifting to the woman's words. His head shakes slowly, disagreement evident.

Maybe a slight worry that the crashing noises will follow with setting off the automated security measures… but he expects Alia's got it handled as he watches the technopath also depart. No goo guns still.

As others start filtering away, he focuses back on Kaylee, concern drawing over his features. Another slow nod acknowledges Bob's decree. And then in a turn back to the new interim CEO, Luther remains patiently listening, waiting for the conclusion of the informational meeting.

As Devi pitches her fit, Kaylee stands with lips pressed into that line waiting for her to be done. She understands, she’d like to yell and scream. To tear apart every mind to find her brother, but… she can’t. Luther can see that edge of worry, of feeling utterly helpless.

“We could have kept it from you, told you he was on vacation, but we have always seen employees as an extension of our family and you deserve to know what we can tell you.” He eyes drop away to where security is working on carrying Warren out, “What we ask in return is you keep this knowledge to yourself. Our customers do not need to know. All they need to know is that he’s taken some time away.”

Looking back at who is left in the room, Kaylee adds, “My door is always open.” She motions to the door and offers a tightlipped smile. “You're dismissed. If you need some time, talk to your leads.”

That said, Kaylee makes her way off the stage to see to her brother’s care. The only hint that the telepath is struggling to keep it all together is Luther’s alone. There is a gentle lean into his mind. A light pressure as she listens to the deep thrum of his mental hum.

The meeting hadn’t gone like she hoped, but the reactions didn’t surprise her. Richard was just that kind of person. The kind that inspired loyalty.

Please, come home safe, Big Brother. They need you.

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