Culture Shock


alvin_icon.gif leroy_icon.gif zelda_icon.gif

Scene Title Culture Shock
Synopsis Yamagato Industries welcomes its new SESA Liason.
Date May 27, 2018

Cresting Wave Apartments

Moving is always hectic, no matter who you are and how much help you might have. Moving from overseas is even more hectic, especially when one has little experience with the culture(s) that they will soon be immersed in.

This is all so intimidating. The moving crew is carrying boxes and pieces of furniture into and up the elevator into the apartment from the shipping container that carried all of Wilhelmina Falkenrath’s worldly possessions all the way from Southend in the UK, to Yamagato Park here in the Safe Zone. She didn’t bring her furniture, with the assurance of a furnished apartment, but she brought the rest of her things from her old life. Little quirks that will make this strange place a little bit more like home.

The slender woman stands outside of the building, quietly using a handheld vaporizer unit as she watches her entire life being moved into this new place with its oh-so-modern architecture. Pressing a button as she presses it to her lips, she inhales, before exhaling, a thick cloud of pastry-scented vapor billowing out of her mouth. She’s dressed down after traveling here, sporting a simple pair of leggings and a tank top, covered by a black track jacket.

It’s all a lot to process, but the Briton would like to think she’s doing fairly well thus far.

Alvin Mott is humming a tune as he makes his way towards the Cresting Wave apartments, a bundle in his hand that he's tapping idly against his other hand as his steps carry him onwards, the slightest scuff of his dress shoes on the smooth pathway. The tune he's humming is something older and flowing, though he lets it trail off as he draws closer. He glances down to the paperwork in his hand again, though he doesn't need to. He's already sure of who he's looking for.

"Miss Falkenrath?" He inquires as he draws close enough for easy conversation, not shouting across the distance. He holds up the bundle in his hand as he draws closer, though he stays a polite distance away in case she's busy with something, his empty hand grasping the wrist of the full one in front of him while he waits. There's an obvious badge on his suit jacket that identifies him as Yamagato Park Security.

Of course he already knows who she is, probably knows a lot more about her than she’d be comfortable with. Yamagato Security is very good at their jobs after all. “I’m Alvin Mott, a Security Specialist here at Yamagato Park. Sorry it took so long to get your badge and everything made up. Things are still a little hectic after the bombing.” They’re really not. The place is running like a well oiled machine. People coming and going smoothly. “I have your ID and all of your information here. Amenities in the apartments and in the park itself. Room access codes and everything.”

The people of Yamagato are likely used to the way that Leroy tends to conduct himself, and the odd places they find him sitting sometimes. So while it might not be out of the ordinary for Alvin, Wilhelmina might find it odd when Leroy is sitting right in the middle of the lobby, typing away at a laptop, with a two foot glass box sitting a few feet behind the laptop that seems to be full of red lasers.

What security was told is that he needed this particular low elevation and this particular flat surface, with this precise lighting to run some experiments, so he's been sitting in this lobby for a while.

Right now the lasers are forming a bright red ball, which looks like it's floating in the middle of the box.

The laser box is quite peculiar, as is the fellow who appears to be controlling it. Wilhelmina is distractedly toying with the vape unit when Alvin approaches, pulling her from her distracted reverie on how different things are here already. Case in point, the man sitting in the middle of the lobby..

She turns to the man, brows raising slightly, before her expression sets itself into a gentle smile. “Yes, that would be me,” she replies as the man approaches, flicking a switch on the unit and slipping it into the pocket of her track jacket.

“Pleasure to meet you, Mr. Mott,” she replies in her crisp British accent, extending a hand in greeting. “I don’t mind the wait, honestly,” she adds, turning to peer at one of the movers as he carries a particularly heavy box, veins visible as he struggles with the cargo.

She doesn’t move to help, because what’s she going to do?

“It’s all rather new to me, so I cherish the chance to have a rest and a vape.” She turns back to Alvin, flashing a bright white smile.

Alvin glances towards the lobby where Leroy currently resides, and if the man happens to look up from his research Alvin will offer a nod of greeting, though he's not really expecting the scientist to look up. "And that is Mister Jackson, one of our top R&D folks. Brilliant mind." Though the slightly amused tone shows that even though Leroy's behavior is familiar by now, it still amuses Alvin. "Mister Jackson!" He calls to the man the next time the door opens. "When you get a moment you should come meet our new SESA Liaison." He'll turn his attention back to Wilhelmina after that, leaving the scientist be.

Alvin eyes the struggling moving man and sighs. "Why struggle instead of using a dolly?" He asks aloud, just loud enough for the man to hopefully hear the light reprovement. Alvin turns a pleasant smile back on the newly arrived SESA liaison. "Here you are." He hands over the bundle of stuff. It's all wrapped up in a thick vellum envelope. Though he swaps it to his other hand when she holds hers out, so he can grip her hand with his own. "A pleasure. And well I'm sure the moment to relax is nice, but delays are not the normal way of things around here. You'll find everything in the park operates smoothly Miss Falkenrath."

Alvin looks around a little bit. "I'm sure it's quite different from back home. And it's also quite different from the city around us." Once he's handed off the little bundle Alvin will clasp his hands in front of him again, one hand on the wrist of the other. "If there's anything you need feel free to reach out. There are contact numbers in the package for security, maintenance and so on."

Leroy looks up, then stands, leaving his laptop where it is. He's in a simple t-shirt, with his ID and some loose fitting blue jeans, and a pair of simple Nikes. He walks over to her, staring for a moment as if in shock. "Uh, hey." he manages, then offers a hand. "Leroy Jackson. I do computer science."

He blinks a few times, as if he's taken off guard by something, but he doesn't make it apparent what exactly.

Once the pleasantries of shaking Alvin’s hands are over and done with, the woman’s eyes turn down toward the envelope. It’s carefully opened, her ID badge removed and clipped to her jacket. Because everyone else has their ID on, so she probably should too. The rest is kept to the envelope, to be looked through in a more private location.

As Leroy approaches, she flashes that bright smile to him as well, reaching out and taking his hand in a firm handshake. Then, she reaches into her pocket, pulling out the vape. “You don’t mind, do you?” She politely waits to make sure present company won’t mind the sugary fog hanging in the air.

“It’s all very different, yes,” is offered back to Alvin, smiling. “Two cultures I’m not entirely familiar with beyond the pictures painted by media, so I’m sure I’m in for a bit of culture shock out here.” She glances to Leroy, raising a single eyebrow, silently questioning the look.

Alvin looks up and over as Leroy approaches, a slightly surprised expression on the man's features. Perhaps having not expected a quick response from the guy that was doing science things. "How are you experiments going?" He asks curiously of the man with the strange setup in the lobby of the apartment building. Alvin does take a step back when the vape is pulled out. Not a big step back, just not standing so close that he'll catch the stray vapor from it. But he does shake his head to indicate that he doesn't mind.

"You'll want to be careful where you do that though, many in the park are from Japan and have a Japanese mindset and will see it as very rude. I have no issue with it, just keep it in mind. I learned through years of trial and error. Passing on a little earned wisdom." There's a faint chuckle from Alvin before he nods his head.

"Well, I've lived here. I've lived in the UK, and I've lived in Japan. If you need an culture advice I'd be happy to help. The term culture shock gets overused, but it really does apply to your situation." He pauses, seeing her attention shift to Leroy, and he does as well, his head turning to regard the R&D scientist. "Mister Jackson? Are you okay? Or just mind drifting a little?" He's not unfamiliar with the science types and their tendency to brain wander.

"Oh, yeah, I'm fine. Just distracted. And I don't mind, just… what he said." Leroy thumbs at Alvin. "My project is going great, I'm trying to improve the holographic displays with lasers and code." he informs, motioning a hand back at the cube. "This is a proof of concept prototype. There are a few hundred little mirrors inside that can be fully programmed with lasers to take on various shapes."

Rich brown eyes turn toward Leroy as Alvin addresses him, the young woman bringing the vape to her mouth and pressing the button, inhaling the sugary-sweet vapor briefly before letting it billow back out. She files the advice away in the back of her mind — keep the vaping to designated areas. She’s read about the Japanese mindset, and caution seems the best route to take.

She turns back to Alvin, a smile set into her features. “Yeah, I’m sure no amount of reading can really prepare me for all of this. I never really left the UK, just went between Southend On Sea and Oxford, and you two are some of the first American’s I’ve had the pleasure of talking to,” she smiles. The accents they speak in is ridiculous — but she won’t mention that.

Then, her eyes turn back to Leroy, and she spends a moment peering between him and the cube with raised eyebrows as she tries to comprehend what he’s explaining. She doesn’t remark yet, instead taking a long puff of vapor.

"You're right, it really can't. You can read and watch videos online about etiquette and practices but none of it does more than warn you. It definitely does not fully prepare you for the actual experience." Alvin chuckles softly, only to pause as Leroy explains what he's working on. "Holographic projections." His head dips forwards in a couple quick nods. "Well I'm glad your project is going well Mister Jackson." A slight smile for the man and his magic cube. "The innovation of our scientists never fails to impress me." Alvin murmurs with actual respect in his tone for what Leroy does. Alvin couldn't do it.

"I've been to both Southend and Oxford." Alvin has very little accent himself. Time in multiple countries and with multiple languages has erased most of his accent. If anything his speech bears more of a crisp edge from years spent in Japan working for Yamagato. "The UK is about as different from Japan as you can get. People always shouting and hollering. Phone conversations going on on the train that half the car or more can hear. Nothing runs on time. Ever. I honestly think the UK and Japan are about as different as two cultures can be. Thankfully Yamagato Park is diversified and there are plenty of residents and employees from around the world, but especially from here in the US. So the culture shock shouldn't be too horrible. Just a little jarring at first. But there will be people to talk to." An amused smile from the security specialist.
As Leroy wanders off to do his Science Things, Zelda offers a fascinated smile, nodding after the man. She’s met her fair share of scientific types, and they’re almost always either eccentric or a bit crazy. There are exceptions, but they’re just that — exceptions.

The mention of Alvin having been to both of the places on her rather narrow list of places she’s visited prompts the woman’s brows to raise slightly, a smile forming over her features. “Really!” She brightens up a bit — someone who knows her home turf at least a little bit, right? “I wish I’d seen more. I mean, we’d summer in France, but that was barely even a boat ride.” And usually any vacations were spent dealing with her crazy brother — but Alvin doesn’t need to know about that, if he doesn’t already from reading her file.

“I’ll have to be sure to do my homework. I have never read so much about cultures as I have since accepting this job,” she smiles, pressing the vape to her mouth and taking a long inhale, before allowing the sweet-smelling vapor to trail from her mouth and nostrils again.

She’s doing a damned good job of hiding the fact that she doesn’t know what the hell she’s doing here. This is all still so surreal.

Alvin looks amused more than surprised when Leroy wanders off mid conversation. There's a faint chuckle from non descript man. "Scientists are interesting people." He remarks, his tone dry as he says it. His attention shifts back to the woman at hand once the computer scientist is gone, a slight shake of his head before he resumes conversation. "I've been a lot of places. Spent some time in Paris. I will never understand why people flock to that place. The locals are incredibly rude. More so once you learn French and know what they're saying when they assume you don't speak their language."

Alvin knows a lot. It's his job to know things about people. But he's also polite enough to pretend he doesn't know personal information about pretty much everyone who steps into Yamagato Park. "As a kid though I'm sure it was very different. Especially compared to the experience of an American that moved there to live for awhile. I grew up here though. In New York. Then went to Europe, moved around a bit, experienced the people and the cultures. Then to Asia and did much the same, settled in Japan working for Yamagato."

"Culture is pretty important, but Yamagato is also a business so there is definitely some leeway in the culture department. Really a lot of it is going to amount to… don't be rude. Be polite unless you're given a reason not to be. And then try to be polite still. Not always easy for people from Western society. Trust me, took me a long time to get used to it."

After taking one more lungful of the thick, sweet-smelling vapor, Zelda locks and repockets the device, smiling to Alvin as she does so. “Most of my visits to France were when I was a child and too young to understand such things, fortunately. Going up in the Eiffel Tower was fun,” She chuckles softly, shifting in place and rubbing at the sleeve of her track jacket.

The mention of politeness prompts a faint smile to touch the woman’s face. “Fortunately, I often suffer from an overabundance of politeness. It can be a burden at times.” She chuckles, turning to watch as one of the movers uses a dolly to move a particularly large trunk.

“Careful with that one, there’s breakables,” she calls this to the man in charge of putting said trunk into her new apartment.

“France is beautiful I will give it that. Beautiful countrysides. Fantastic architecture. It's a very pretty place to go, and for a child that's really about all you need. " Alvin's head dips forwards in a shallow nod as he lets his eyes wander over the men that are unloading the truck. Over all the men are being very careful unloading the truck, but Alvin has been watching them the whole time just the same.

"Do you have any questions for me while you have me here right now? About the Park or the city or anything?" Alvin lofts a brow at the new SESA liaison. His attention is constantly moving around, never staying in one place. "The Park is very secure, recent incidents aside. It's very difficult to defend against a teleporter. So you should not need to worry about safety while within the park. If you go outside the park that is a very different story. Even within the safezone there is a level of lawlessness. Beyond it such as Staten Island? It gets much worse."

A charming smile winds its way across Wilhelmina’s delicate features, her head bobbing in agreement. “Indeed,” she replies before a chuckle makes its way out of her mouth. She doesn’t mentioned that they very rarely went on such extravagant vacations, simply because her crazy brother was impossible to travel with. Though it’s possible that he already knows about that.

“Not too many. I’ll probably stick mostly to the Park,” she murmurs, turning to peer at the rather lovely property. “Though would you have any good food recommendations for when one wants to step out?” She might as well put some of her salary toward local regrowth, right?

"Well, there are actually some really great food options here in the park. We also allow food trucks to come into the park from the safe zone to sell their wares as well. But if you want food outside of the Park hmmm. There's a great little asian place in Red Hook Market. Right next to a hair salon. What they're serving that day is hit or miss based on what ingredients they can get a hold of from day to day. But for the most part their food is excellent. But options for food outside of the Park are slim. The foot shortages mean there's very little room for commercial level food. Until food becomes more common in the safe zone I doubt you'll see many good options." Alvin's shoulders lift slightly in a shallow shrug. "But the food here is excellent. It just has an asian bend to it usually. Except the food trucks. There's a variety that come through. No clue where they get their supplies but they are options at least."

"But, to be fair I don't get much chance to step outside the Park. Busy busy. So you may be able to find a place that I haven't. If you do you'll have t let me know. Especially if you find a pizza joint. Haven't had a slice of New York pizza in a long time." Alvin's head tilts back and he looks up at the Cresting Wave apartment building. "If you ever have any security concerns at all call the number on the contacts list. That will automatically flag a security officer to come and make sure everything is okay."

With a smile on her face, Wilhelmina files that information away. Especially the part about the pizza. “I will definitely keep an eye out for a good pizza restaurant whenever I do finally venture out of the park,” she replies, chuckling softly and shifting her track jacket on her shoulders. “Thanks for the recommendations.”

She glances towards the movers — they’re getting close to being done with their job, which probably means that she should be getting up there to go through all of the things she packed soon.

“Thank you again for your warm welcome, Mr. Mott.” She turns a bright smile to Alvin, dipping her head toward him.

“Take care of yourself Miss Falkenrath. And welcome to Yamagato Park.” Alvin lifts his hand and gives a little two finger wave, pointer and middle finger together before he turns and strolls away, resuming his humming right where he left off.

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