Curriculum Vitae


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Scene Title Curriculum Vitae
Synopsis Juliette Fournier-Raith takes the first steps at a new career.
Date May 14, 2021

She insisted.

Those two words have begun to haunt Richard Ray. Today, they came from Raytech’s head of human resources about a morning appointment. One that finds Richard waiting in the ground-floor conference room that standard interviews are made in with virtual unknowns. In the morning. On a Friday.

Dim sunlight filters in through the tall windows, muted by the smoke lingering in the sky outside. In front of Richard is the most preposterous document he’s ever had to review in his entire life. Just three sheets of neatly formatted bullet points and headers, a curriculum vitae for a prospective new employee. But knowing the name on that document, it’s someone who has already worked for him once before. Or well, a version of him.


Raytech Industries NYCSZ Headquarters
Jackson Heights

May 14th
8:02 am

Julie passes her security screening just after eight in the morning, thirty minutes ahead of her scheduled interview. For all that Richard can see her through the glass walls of the conference room, he barely recognizes the woman being escorted in by security. It’s been three years since he delivered word of Jean-Martin Luis’ death to her.

Little registers on Julie’s face, a brief dip of her eyes down to the street, a crease of her brows, and then a slow exhale of a sigh as those pale eyes close. “I figured as much…” she says with a tightness in her throat.

Thinking on that day, though, some of the things Julie said then—things that seemed innocuous at the time—suddenly have more weight to them.

“He'd written me weekly for years after I settled into the Safe Zone. Used to send me just…” she shakes her head, “odds and ends. Garbage. His handwriting was slipping, he was repeating himself. Dementia,” she presumes, “Parkinson's. He knew he had the genes for both, was terrified he'd wind up in a home.”

The woman heading toward the conference room isn’t the same one he spoke to then. Something has hardened her, sanded off the softness of youth and replaced it with something that reminds Richard more of her father than anything. There’s a thinness to her face, shadow under her eyes, a sharpness to her features.

“Luis wasn't all there at the end. He sent me weird things too with the letters. Old files,” she looks up as of commiserating, “video cassettes? Who even keeps that shit anymore. I think they were from the Institute’s archives. Whatever was left. Luis must've had the hard copies.”

As Julie makes her way toward the conference room, three years of loose ends start forming a noose around Richard’s neck.

“Maybe. Could I have a look at the files and tapes he sent you? Could be some answers in there, could be…”

“I can mail you whatever it is, give me a card or something,” Julie easily asserts, tucking a lighter into her pocket. “Honestly I don't know what Luis was thinking, or if he even knew. When I was little, I thought he was just looking for someone to care for. But…” looking away, Julie seems troubled.

She never mailed anything.

At times, it feels to Richard like his entire life is trying to gather up all the loose ends and figure out where they go… only to find that most of them never go anywhere. To contacts long gone and dead, to facilities already sanitized, to technologies snatched into the hands of his enemies before he could reach them.

Sometimes, though… sometimes they do. And that sometimes keeps him searching.

The cover of a manila folder is closed over those three sheets of paper, sheets that seem too small to contain the summary of the woman in question’s life, and he moves to rise up to his feet as she’s escorted in.

“Julie,” he says warmly, though there’s something in his expression that speaks of concern as her manner sinks in, “How have you been?”

“Well,” is her smooth and professional response. She doesn’t step in for a handshake, rather comports herself with a measured smile and folds herself down into the seat opposite the one Richard rose from. Her escort steps out of the office without another word, quietly shutting the door behind himself.

“I’m glad you could make the time for an interview. I wasn’t expecting to meet with you personally, but when I received the call from your HR department I was both surprised and delighted.” Her expression is… unusual. There’s a practiced nature to everything, to her smile, to the look in her eyes, to her posture. None of it feels natural, none of it draws back memories of the tired and ragged young woman smoking a cigarette on her break outside of a hospital. The last time Richard had seen Julie she seemed exhausted. Now she seems… plastic.

“I know that I submitted my application for a contract generalist position for your medical department,” Julie continues with near breathless delivery, folding her hands in her lap as she does, “but I also understand that an opening for a junior prosthetics surgery assistant recently opened up, and I’d like to discuss that possibility with you provided you’re still reviewing candidates.”

It’s formality. That’s what Richard had found rubbing him the wrong way. All of this felt remarkably stiff and formal, as if they didn’t even know one-another.

“There… is, yes, we’re just expanding into the cybernetics market so we have some openings in that department,” Richard admits with furrowed brow, his words slow at first as if he was trying to figure something out, “So we can certainly discuss that…”

One hand comes up to smooth his tie down before he eases himself back into his chair, starting to say something else— pausing— and then asking with more-obvious concern, “Are you sure everything’s alright? You seem a bit…” He trails off, motioning vaguely her way.

“I’m quite fine,” Julie says with a glance down to her lap and a subtle furrow of her brows. When she blinks her attention back up to Richard, he notices a subtle shift in her demeanor, a narrowing of her eyes, a squaring of her jaw.

“I’m here for an interview of my qualifications for this job,” Julie says after a moment of tense silence. “Not to be handed an opportunity out of any emotional response or predisposed notion of who or what I am. I will be judged by my merits,” she says with a pointed look at her resume, “or I walk.”

Suddenly, it slots into place. The ward of the Institute, a child who never had a childhood, handed research opportunities within the walls of the arcology that didn’t—couldn’t—translate to work-experience in the real world. Everything Julie ever attained had been handed to her by people who thought they could control her. This wasn’t just a job interview for her, it was an act of free will.

The edge of an eyebrow lifts slightly at the change in her demeanor, but then Richard nods ever so slightly - the hint of a smile curving his lips slightly. “Fair enough,” he allows, hands coming together to clasp on the table’s surface.

“Well, then. I’ve read your resume, obviously,” he tilts his head in the direction of those papers, “But why don’t you tell me in your own words about your skills and applicable experience, Ms. Fournier-Raith? Particularly as it applies to the position you’d like to pivot this interview towards.”

Sliding her tongue across the inside of her cheek, Julie looks down to the floor, then back up to Richard. “My tenure as an RN at Elmhurst Hospital began in overnight ER stays, which is where the hospital learned of my ability in handling life-threatening trauma cases. When you have someone come into the ER at 2 in the morning with a collapsed lung from an upper thoracic gunshot wound, it requires a certain kind of diamond-edged nerves. Not everyone is cut out for that, long-term.”

Taking a steady breath, Julie collects her thoughts. “In a year I moved from overnight ER to attending RN in surgery, and following my certification with SESA I doubled with a specialization in SLC-Expressive care. I was frequently on-call with SESA to handle Expressive patients and leverage my innate ability to identify and understand their powers, especially when it was clear the patients didn’t themselves.”

“If you’re going to be running a medical center with a focus in cybernetics surgery, you’re going to need an attendant nurse familiar with the needs of surgeons in high-stress environments, as well as one capable of identifying and categorizing manifested Expressives in the event that they do not disclose their ability to you openly.” Julie explains, using her hands to indicate how these skills are portioned out.

“I’ve worked as an RNFA for four years, during which time I have also pursued my continuing education to obtain my doctoral degree from Brooklyn College. I have two years left until I obtain that degree, during which time I intend to further my education pursuing a comprehensive understanding of medical cybernetics theory and prosthesis study in as far as they apply to medical practice and the care of cybernetically-augmented individuals.” Julie says with a practiced care, settling back into her chair, crossing one leg over the other, and folding her hands at the back of her knee. “As such, I’m not only a present asset to Raytech, but one that will appreciate in value over a short period of investment.”

Richard can’t help but wonder if she gave speeches like this at the arcology, if she talked her way past the defenses of men three times her age, walking straight into the gates of hell that Lewis Zimmerman and Jean-Martin Luis held open for her. He wonders how much of that keeps her up at night.

He remembers the time he went to talk to her sister, what seems like a lifetime ago. He remembers how she talked, too.

"Yep! Pop has a big archive of information he has me read when I'm at the lab, and my sister does a lot of reading there too and we quiz each other on it." Wrinkling her nose, Liette purses her lips and rests her hands on her hips. It's her first day with her arm out of the sling, and she seems to be doing well for it, even if the necessity for painkillers is still there.

"I know you can turn into shadows and pass through any non-light sealed space, I know you can turn other people to shadow as long as they remain in contact with you, and that you can trans-sub-stantiate," she has a little trouble with that word, due to her nose tickling and the threat of a sneeze coming on— close call but no achoo, "seperate parts of your body individually. It's a really versatile power, 'cept you can't affect the levels of ambient light, 'cause that's an umbrakinetic or photokinetic differential line in SLC-expressive determinations!" Mortimer was right, she's a walking, talking encyclopedia of Evolved knowledge.

Huh. Some of that's actually news to Cardinal as he considers what she's said. Perhaps he should've taken more time to explore the different aspects of his ability… but it's somewhat moot, now. "You do know a lot. Maybe…" Maybe… The shadowmorph hesitates, "…I was… disrupted when I absorbed a nuclear bomb, Liette. Do you… know of any powers that might be able to— fix that?" Maybe…

Wrinkling her nose, Liette furrows her brows and chews on her lower lip a little. "Umm… this is one of those hypothetical tests, isn't it? I'm good at these!" Bringing a hand up to her mouth, Liette purses her lips and rocks back and forth on her heels, eyes focused down at her feet and clearly gears working behind her eyes. "Okay, so the information posed to me in this hypothetical research situation explains that an obtenebrative transubstantiative took critical physical damage presumably while in insubstantial form by merit of verbage," Her head quirks to the side, blue eyes unfocusing. "This means that tissue and nerve damage would have been inflicted on a molecular level within the transubstantiated form of his corporeal body."

Blue eyes dart up towards Cardinal, and Liette makes a quiet and thoughtful sound in the back of her throat. "I don't…" She doesn't want to say she doesn't know, simply because that wouldn't be the appropriate answer. "My best hypothesis involves discovering a proper SLC-expressive healer capable of handling your mass tissue damage and partially transubstantiating part of yourself to make physical contact with them and draw them into your shadowmorph form, allowing them to interact with you on an incorporeal and tangible level simultaneously?"

Then she waits, to be told if she's right. Because this is an exercise, and not a consultation, right?

Neither of them ever got to be children. They were taught the intricacies of SLC-expressive abilities and how they functioned when most their age would be learning schoolyard rhymes. Even the school of hard knocks that he and Isabelle had grown up with had been better than how they were raised.

For just a moment, Richard’s thoughts roil with rancor for Jean-Martin, but it soon passes. The man is, after all, dead. Maybe those years of slow mental degradation were deserved, as was Monroe’s final revenge. Maybe not. He’s finding it harder to judge others as the years go by.

“Well, I can say this at least— you aren’t lacking in confidence.” A smile, if a slight one, “And you’re right, both in that your medical experience and continued education - and to a lesser extent, your ability - would be a great benefit to our own burgeoning cybernetics program.”

“Given the nature of our work here, we’re often working on the bleeding edge of what’s possible— particularly given how new the field of cybernetics is. Are you comfortable dealing with the risks of prototypes and experimental work — within, of course, all ethical and moral standards?”

Knowing the environment she was raised in encourages him to stress that last bit.

“Of course,” Julie says with just the barest edge of hesitation. But Richard can’t quite tell precisely why she hesitated. The ghost of something resembling frustration in her eyes draws her attention to the floor, then back to Richard again. “As a nurse I have to consider the ethical implications of every choice I make in a medical environment.”

She fidgets, slightly. “Any impropriety in that regard would not only endanger my impending medical degree, but also cause catastrophic harm to Raytech as a whole.”

“You’re more than a hippocratic oath,” Julie says with a turn of her face toward Sasha’s palm, words felt as subtle breaths against calloused skin. “Your ability is more than a doctor’s tool. I want you to find what you haven’t in yourself,” she lifts one hand up to rest against the back of his, “find what you can do when you’re in control, not someone else.

“Especially considering the additional scrutiny that Raytech will be under operating in such a cutting-edge field,” Julie adds with a raise of her brows, wringing her hands together.

Narrowing her eyes, Julie takes a slow step forward. “If you’re going down that road, regardless of whatever nightmare of a distraction Sibyl is, I want to see where that road takes you. What you can become.” Julie squeezes his hand, gently.

“I would need to comport myself…” Julie considers her next words carefully.

“What I can help you become.”

“Above reproach.”

The ghost of a smile, then, as Richard brings one hand up to rub against the side of his neck briefly. “Don’t we all,” he says quietly, “Don’t we all.”

“I’m certain you understand more than most why we in particular are under close scrutiny by multiple agencies.” He means Raytech, of course, but also ‘we’ as in the both of them. And not all of those agencies are merely regulatory. “Our operational security is therefore quite high, and we take it very seriously around these parts.”

“Do you anticipate any conflicts of interest, problems with holding to non-disclosure agreements, and-slash-or do you have any associations with outside groups that may prove problematic in the course of your employment with Raytech?”

Julie takes an honest moment to consider that question, and Richard can see the subtle crease between her brows as she does. But the look that she blinks back at him is one of certainty where earlier there was some hesitation. “None,” she says adamantly. “I left Elmhurst earlier this year to pursue other career options.” Options which leave her with a hint of tightness at the edge of her voice when she delivered that practiced line.

“I have no other attachments, except to my family.” Julie explains, and that much is delivered from the heart. Richard, of all people, knows how important the family she has left is to her.

Some family, Richard considers, that she doesn’t even know she has. Somehow he doubts Marcus would appreciate being revealed in such a manner, however.

At the mention of other options, he considers her weighingly for a few moments before he speaks again. “We have a— informal motto here, that ‘everyone deserves a second chance’. We do have some employees who have through time served or deals with the government cleared their records, but who you may have previously been familiar with.”

One eyebrow goes up. She surely knows what he’s saying— that he has some Institute personnel here. “Do you anticipate any problems arising from that?”

“I don’t foresee any, no,” Julie says with a measured smile. “Honestly, it might be nice to see some of my former colleagues.” Though she visibly regrets saying that the moment it slips past her lips. Julie grimaces, then shakes her head. “I mean, on a purely sentimental level.”

Trying to recover from what she perceives as a faux-pas, Julie takes the conversational wheel with both hands and jerks it to the right. “You’ve got nothing to worry from me, I have a clear criminal record and I’m eager to keep it that way. Wouldn’t want my cousin to come and have to arrest me, right?” She delivers with a nervous laugh.

“I don’t think she’d walk in here willingly again, the last time I locked her and her father in a computer lab to make them talk to each other,” Richard jokes— although he absolutely did that— with a hand rubbing against his jawline for a moment as if considering the matter.

“And— good. We’ll have to do the usual background checks, drug tests and all— and whatever Doctor Gatter tries to tell you, LSD is not a ‘nootropic supplement’— but I’m fairly familiar with your background already so I don’t imagine we’ll find any surprises.”

A smile, eyebrows lifting a little, “Of course the final decision will be up to the Director of Medical, but I’ll pass along my recommendation to them.” He doesn’t say what that recommendation is, precisely, but the implication is positive. Specifically, though, he’s making it clear that he’s just making a recommendation and not just fiating her employment due to their shared past.

“I appreciate that,” Julie says in all earnesty. “I—tend to get a lot of… people act differently around me if they know me.” She admits as the professional mask slips some. “Either they knew my—my sister and it’s pity or… something. Or they knew me when I was at the Institute and it’s fear or resentment.” She wrings her hands together, shaking her head.

“I’ve… I have had to earn every single thing on that CV,” Julie says with a motion to the paper, “with every ounce of myself since the war ended. I have nothing to show from my time at the Institute except—” she pinches her mouth shut and shakes her head. “I’m sorry. That’s—this is—” she doesn’t want to say unprofessional, but Richard doesn’t need to be a mind-reader to know that’s what she wanted to say.

“I appreciate you giving me an honest opportunity.” Julie says with a look down at the floor, then back up to Richard. “Sincerely.”

“I meant what I said, a minute ago,” says Richard with a shake of his head, “Everyone deserves a second chance. That includes you, you know. You never even, honestly, were given a first chance to begin with…”

A brief grimace gives way to a faint smile, and he spreads his hands, “Raytech. Where all the geniuses that someone else would use and abuse end up, if they’re lucky. God knows they’re better off here than at PISEC, if they’re even still carrying out that project.” He hopes not, after the disaster it proved to be.

“So. Now that the interview has concluded…” He leans forward, arms resting in a casual fold on the table, “How are you doing, Julie?” A genuine question; he’s worried about her.

“Fine.” And just like that she’s closed up again. She shifts in her chair, re-crossing her legs and threading a lock of hair behind one ear. “It’s been a busy year, and obviously I’ve been a little on-edge while we keep tabs on the fire, but hopefully that doesn’t get any worse. I’ve honestly been so busy with classes that I haven’t had much time for anything else. They joke about how much work med school is, but…” She laughs, nervously, “You know, it is.”

“Did you have any other questions for me, Mr. Ray?” Julie asks in that tacit request to see if the interview process has concluded. Whatever proclivity she may have for small-talk, it may not exist in this specific environment.

“I can only imagine,” Richard admits, regarding the schooling, “That’s why we pay the big bucks, I suppose…”

He hesitates for a moment, then motions a little with one hand as if to brush the resume aside without touching it, “Nothing work-related. I was curious if you still had all of those— packages that Luis sent you…? I never heard from you after we last talked about that.”

Julie looks intently at Richard for a moment, her expression tightly focused but hard to read. Then, with a sigh, she lets her shoulders sag. “No,” she says with a hint of regret. “I got—I decided to do some house cleaning and threw them all in the dumpster at the first apartment Emily and I had. But I, uh, I felt wrong doing it. They weren’t in there more than…” she squints in thought, “half an hour, tops?” Blinking a look up to Richard, Julie says, “When I got back to the dumpster, they were just gone. The whole box.”

Shrugging, Julie sighs and then threads a lock of hair behind one ear self-consciously. “They were the only thing of Jean-Martin that I had left and I…” She can’t finish the thought, it’s clear she’s too mad at herself. “No, I’m sorry. They’re gone.”

“Shit.” Richard grimaces briefly at the news— not so much that they’re gone but that someone else got them. Another lead to the truth slipped through his fingers like so much sand. “No, it’s my fault, I should have followed up with you sooner…”

“I’m sure it was nothing important,” he lies, flashing her a smile as he pushes himself up to his feet, offering his hand across the table, “Anyway, I know you’re wanting to keep this professional and brief, so— thanks for coming in, and you’ll hear from us soon.”

Julie looks down at her lap, taking in a deep breath. She nods, still looking as though she has a reason to blame herself for losing the tapes. “I should’ve sent them when I said I would,” she mumbles, then closes her eyes and pushes herself to her feet. As she rises, Julie pushes through her discomfort and uncertainty, blinking her eyes open to look at the window.

“I appreciate this opportunity,” Julie says, then shifts her attention back to Richard. Emotion tamped down in favor of formality.

“I look forward to hearing back from you.”

Two Years Earlier


“No. You listen to me.”

Julie’s voice cuts through the quiet of a dark night, accompanied by the scuff-slap of flip-flops against asphalt and heel. Walking away from her apartment building, box under one arm, phone cradled to the side of her face, she is a picture of distress.

“I told you not to, and you went and fucking did it anyway!” Julie screams into the phone. “No, no. No, I already—I told you! I fucking told you to wait for me.”

The box under Julie’s arm is overflowing with things. Old VHS cassettes, shoes, an assortment of men’s clothes. All of it is violently hurled into a dumpster with a, “Go fuck yourself Sasha!

Ripping the phone from her ear, Julie angrily ends the call and lets out a strangled scream and storms back to the side entrance of the apartment building. A dog barks loudly a block down, a car alarm is going off even further away. She is left with the sounds of the city, and she adds strangled sobs to them. When Julie retreats through the door back into her apartment building, her cries no longer pollute the night noise.

Instead, they are replaced by the scuffing of sneakers on asphalt as a figure in a dark hoodie slips out from behind a parked car. They maneuver to the dumpster, unshouldering a cheap backpack, then pull themselves up into the dumpster, straddling the lip. The hooded figure fishes around through the detritus of a man’s life, finding the treasures unintentionally thrown out in a fit of anger.

Cassette tape after cassette tape are dropped down into the backpack along with some still-sealed yellow shipping envelopes. More closely examining one, the hooded figure sees sloppy penmanship in black marker, and Julie’s name and address. That last envelope gets added to the backpack, and the hooded figure swings their leg around and drops down from the dumpster.

Taking a knee, they zip the backpack shut and swing it over their shoulder, slowly standing up.

“Sometimes,” they say to themselves with a huff of laughter, “a good hunch pays off.”


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