berlin_icon.gif richard_icon.gif

Scene Title Civilian
Synopsis An interview turns out to not be one.
Date September 24, 2018


There is simply no peace today.

Jackhammers are rattling across both sides of the street that Raytech Industries is set upon. Backhoes are hauling back huge piles of collapsed debris from the condemned industrial parks surrounding Raytech’s lot, and tall red cranes are moving iron beams in from more distant locations near the water. Yamagato Industries is hard at work in Jackson Heights and it seems as though they have a plan for the blocks Raytech occupies.

The considerable industrial noise carries inside, where it is reduced to a dull roar through the reinforced glass windows. Berlin Beckett finds the lobby of Raytech a respite from the chaos, as she is greeted by the chipper woman at the front desk with a wordless wave. A pair of large headphones cover her ears, likely to drown out the racket.

Scribbling in a notebook, she holds up the yellow lined paper that reads Do you have an appointment? It has a sloth drawn next to it for reasons unknown.

Berlin got herself presentable today. She's not in a suit or anything, but her hair has been tamed and her jeans don't have any holes in them. It's a miracle. She approaches the front desk, pushing her hair behind her shoulder in an attempt to get it out of the way. She looks from the receptionist to the notebook, head tilting in question at the sloth.

So when she grabs a pen and jots down her reply— Yes. Beckett. Wolfhound.— it comes with an odd look in the woman's direction. There's a beat before she adds an actual question. Does the sloth mean you're bored or hungry?

Her brow remains furrowed as if this is a serious question that needs answering.

Sera glances down at the pad, then looks up to Berlin with narrowed eyes and mouths the word what? Followed by something that looks like eye of the tiger but honestly it's hard to say. Headphones still blaring, she reaches over and presses the intercom button twice in rapid succession — that's how she's been paging Richard all day — and then motions to one of the seats in the lobby.

Eschewing the notepad entirely, Sera just gives Berlin a figergun and thumbs up, then goes back to typing on her computer.

The confusion only seems to magnify as Sera confuses Berlin, Berlin confuses Sera, and then Sera confuses Berlin all over again. Her return thumbs up comes out a bit bewildered, but she moves over to slide into a seat as directed. At least that part was understandable.

She pulls out her phone to google Eye of the Tiger. She's pretty sure there isn't a sloth in the song, but who knows. Luckily, Raytech's wifi makes it almost as easy to look up as it is at the Bunker. One of the pros of having a technopath around. She assumes.

It’s not more than five or ten minutes before the CEO in question appears. At least, one must assume it’s him, because he’s wearing a nice black suit with a red shirt beneath for a splash of color, an expensive digital watch around one wrist, and his shoes look nice but are actually running shoes, an illusion only broken if one looks closely.

He’s wearing an AEGIS helmet at the moment, though, because Sera stole his last pair of headphones when he went to the bathroom earlier. So one has to assume that it’s Richard Ray under there.

He glances to the doors — and all the construction visible past the parking lot — and then steps over to the desk, reaching past an oblivious Sera to pick up a guest lanyard. It’s offered over to Berlin, and then he waves an arm in invitation, heading to an elevator that one hopes will lead somewhere quieter.

When the lost member of Daft Punk appears, Berlin first stands up and then… looks him over. It's possible she notices the shoes, because she seems to be studying him a bit as he makes his way over to Sera.

It's probably good that the noise prevents her from saying anything at this exact moment. Lord knows what trouble she would be in if she insulted the guy who makes their gear. But given that she's looking at the helmet rather than at him, exactly, when she takes the badge— well, it might be clear that Berlin was less than prepared for the reality of Raytech.

So she's a few steps behind on the way to the elevator, slipping on the lanyard almost as an afterthought.

Once the elevator doors close, shutting out the roar of noise outside, Richard brings his hands up and disengages the helmet before pulling it off. “Jesus Christ, you’d think that it’s still the war out there,” he comments dryly, tucking the helmet under one arm and tapping one of the lower buttons on the elevator panel, “We can use one of the lower floor conference rooms, because everything on the surface is just a dull roar at best.”

A smile tugs up at the corner of his lips as he looks her over, “Don’t think we’ve met before.”

Berlin shakes her head a little when the doors close. The noise came on gradual as she walked to Raytech, but having it cut off so sharp makes her realize how bad it really was. But she looks back over at Richard at his comment, chuckling lightly. "Let's march without the noise of threatening drum," she says. A quieter conference room would be best, one can assume she means. But when he brings up the fact that they haven't actually ever been introduced, the young Hound holds a hand out toward him.

"Officer Beckett. Berlin," she adds after a beat. "Thanks for meeting with me, Mr. Ray. Wolfhound has always been grateful for our collaboration." Which is all very PR and practiced, down to the smile she wears. But obviously so, because this is not a position she's been in before.

The hand’s clasped firmly as it’s reached out, and Richard chuckles as he draws his hand back, “Yes, well, I’m always happy to help out Wolfhound… half of your people used to be mine, after all, so aside from the advantages of having you all doing what you do…”

He shrugs a shoulder, and as the doors slide open he walks out, “…I never forget my people.”

Concrete walls and floor painted white to give the place a somewhat sterile look, there’s a moment’s stop at the first door that presents for him to scan both his lanyard and a fingerprint before the door opens as he leads the way into the floor - turning away from what looks like an even more secure door to head down a hallway towards what turn out to be offices.

Into one of the rooms, the whiteboard covered in equations and the large monitor on another wall suggesting it’s often used for brainstorming sessions, he sets the helmet down on the table and drops unceremoniously into a chair, leaning back.

“So what can I do for Wolfhound? And no, I’m not adding parachutes to the armor.”

Berlin's handshake is also professional— in fact the only break in it is the fact that her smile turns more genuine at his words. Smaller, but genuine. It's a sentiment she can get behind, after all. But she doesn't say as much, just follows along toward the conference room. The level of security is familiar to her, at least, and rather than being taken by surprise, she seems to not think twice about it. As if everyone should have scanners and checks on their doors.

Once they're in the room, though, she takes a seat of her own and looks back his way. The board gets a second glance, but she keeps the distraction brief.

"Actually. We were hoping you might be willing to talk to us— well, me— about David Cardinal." Not your father, just the man's name. But she knows the assumed connection and leaves a pause there, in case that's as far as he's willing to let this go.

The question furrows Richard’s brow, and he leans back with - if anything - a guarded and slightly confused expression upon his face.

“…Dave? What— wait a minute, what do you want with David, there shouldn’t be anything about him that would interest Wolfhound,” he says, lifting a hand slightly in a questioning manner, as he regards her quizzically, “The man’s an automotive mechanic that just wants to be left alone. What exactly is your interest in him?”

The young Hound's head tilts as she watches Richard's reaction. The surprise is understandable. From a certain point of view.

"I'm afraid there is something," she says, fingers tapping the table as she considers her next words. "His name came up in connection to one of the Institute assets Wolfhound was able to collect. We would like to dig in there and see if there's anything to it or if it's a red herring. I mean. It isn't like lying is beneath them." No, very little is beneath them, really. But there might be something to the notion that someone put them on a wild goose chase, given that it's the youngest and least experienced Officer investigating this particular lead. "If you could let us know where to find him, I just want to ask him a few questions."

“An Institute…?” A flicker of disbelief— mingled with more than a hint of worry— crosses Richard’s face as he leans forward, one arm resting on the table as he looks at her seriously, “I know that Ezekiel visited him once, but I’m not aware of any actual Institute connections… but if there is, I’m rather interested in knowing them.”

“I’ll be happy to tell you what I know about David, but I’m going to have to ask what information you received, exactly, and from where.”

"Well—" Berlin starts, letting out a sigh, "His name came up as someone that Lauren Gilmore was in charge of. His handler. I want to be clear that we aren't treating this as absolute truth, just following up on it. If it's true, we'd like to know what the circumstances of his connection there are or were. If it isn't, we'd like to find out why that information was fed to us. We had some missions to hunt down a few of the bigger names left over from the Institute. There was a facility in Colorado. We got all the intel we could from there. And from the people taken in during that operation." Before passing them along to SESA. Berlin looks apologetic when she goes on, like she has to say what's on her mind, but isn't thrilled about it. "It could be that Ezekiel had more reason to go see him than you know."

“So what you’re telling me…” Richard’s hard to read at the moment, his facade serious and with none of the openness earlier, “…is that according to Gilmore, he was an Institute agent? And you got this intel in, what, the Geopoint facility?”

He probably shouldn’t know that, but then, Richard knows a lot of things he shouldn’t know.

“Did she say anything else about David? I don’t see what use he could be. He doesn’t even have an ability anymore.”

Berlin tilts her head, like what he's saying is just curiouser and curiouser.

"Mr. Ray. You don't know about David Cardinal's connection to this organization, but you know the name of a highly secret facility where its higher ups went to ground when they were backed into a corner?" She sits back in her chair, letting out a heavy sigh. "Well, that's just interesting. Isn't it?"

His last words get a look from her, one that likely highlights how young she is because it all but screams are you serious right now. "I think we're all aware that people are capable of being useful… or dangerous… regardless of whether or not they have an ability."

“A facility is a bit more high-profile than some…” Richard brings a hand up to pinch between his eyes, which close for a moment, “…nnh. I know quite a lot of things, Ms. Beckett. Half of them classified, officially not existing, or just downright dangerous to know. It’s rather what I do.”

The corporate executive thing must just be a hobby then.

He brushes his hand through the air towards her, then, “Have you been briefed on the Looking Glass Project, by any chance? This will make much more sense if you have.”

"Officer Beckett," Berlin reminds him. She's quick about it, like she doesn't want him to forget what her job is. But otherwise, she listens, looking mostly puzzled while he tries to explain. "Alright," she says, apparently accepting of his tendency to know things that aren't that easy to find out.

"I'm pretty sure I'm not allowed to tell you about all the mission intel," Berlin says, but her expression breaks into a smile— like she just can't help it— for a brief moment before she brings it back under control and looks over at him again. "Looking Glass is an Institute project," she says, lifting an eyebrow at him, "centered at the Geopoint facility."

Of course, that doesn't really answer his question. Not officially, anyway.

“That would be a no, then,” is Richard’s dry response, leaning back in his chair and steepling ten fingers on his chest as he regards her for a long moment, “Looking Glass was my mother’s project. The Company attempted to re-create her work, and the Institute after them. Properly built, it allows access to multiple timelines.”

His lips twitch in a faint smile, “I may have to apologize to Hana for briefing you on things she hasn’t.”

He draws in a slow breath, exhales, “David Cardinal would genetically show up as my father, but my actual father is an alternate version of him from another timeline, which I know sounds insane but there it is. My life is complicated.” Wry, “The one time I met him, he was angry at the presumption— because his Michelle was never pregnant— and wanted nothing to do with me ever again. I felt it best to obey his wishes, since it was unnecessarily painful to both of us to do otherwise.”

Hazel eyes darken, hooding slightly, “If he’s actually working for the Institute, though, I suddenly have a lot of questions for him.”

"Don't worry," Berlin says, "I can keep a secret." She punctuates with a quick wink. Hana never needs to know is the implication, although it's difficult to tell if she's kidding or not.

The explanation of timelines and multiple David Cardinals gets a tilt of her head, but otherwise Berlin seems to take it all in stride. Her response is to take out her phone and jot down some notes. "So this Michelle Cardinal— the one from here— who funded her? Sounds costly to me. And you said David is a car mechanic?" She looks over at him over the edge of her phone, expression incredulous. "Do you think the pursuit of his wife's work would be enough motivation for him to join them? A mechanic would have been able to work on it, at least with the physical aspect of ot, even if he wasn't aware of the science."

His last words get a chuckle. Because, obviously, so does Wolfhound.

“I think you overestimate the ability of a mechanic to break the laws of the universe,” Richard replies a bit dryly, and then he arches one brow, “My turn, though. What exactly did Agent Gilmore have to say about David? I can’t imagine she just handwaved him as some name on a list— she would have known the last name in connection with her own higher-ups, I imagine.”

His hands spread slightly, “I’m really rather curious, Officer.” The title stressed, just as she did.

"I think you underestimate the ability of a mechanic to break the laws of the universe. Doesn't seem to take as much as it used to. If it ever did." Berlin sets her phone down, looking across the table at him. "Mr. Ray, you haven't actually answered my questions. If you want details of Wolfhound missions, you'll probably have to ask Hana. If you're willing to talk about David Cardinal— specifically, where we might find him to ask him if he has a connection to the Institute— now would be a good time for it. If you'd rather not, to respect his privacy or for any reason, that's okay. I'll be on my way and stop taking up your time. But I didn't come to sate your curiosity. I came to try to weed out what the Institute has left behind. If they want to regrow, we're looking to stomp that out before they get too far. I came here because I thought you might be on board to help with that." Pushing her chair back from the table, she picks her phone up again and stands. "But if not, then I'm sorry for wasting your time."

“Given that I watched the former Director of the Institute burn and die at my feet, I absolutely have every interest in making sure that particular weed doesn’t grow back,” Richard replies dryly, a single brow arching as he watches her stand— he makes no move to do so himself. “I’m no civilian to sit here and give you everything I know and then go merrily on my way while you act on that intelligence.”

He leans forward slightly, “I don’t work that way, and if you think I should, take it up with Gitelman.”

"But only if you get something in return," Berlin says, sliding her phone into a pocket. "You want to come along, but only when it interests you, personally. Only if you get to name the terms. I understand." She steps aside, pushing her chair back into place under the table. "I'll show myself out. For the record, I really liked the business armor look."

And that's her goodbye, apparently, because she heads for the door just after. Whether or not she plans on taking it up with Hana, she doesn't say.

At those words, even the vestige of good humor departs the man, and he leans back slowly in his chair. “You don’t understand anything, Officer,” he replies flatly, “But I suppose you didn’t care to try. Give my best to Huruma, if you could.”

He lets her step out to ‘show herself out’ on her own. Eventually she’ll discover that she doesn’t have a way past the security doors, and a helpful security guard will show her out.


Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License