Dragons And Sheep


isis_icon.gif richard_icon.gif

Scene Title Dragons and Sheep
Synopsis No file on Adam Monroe, but it's a start.
Date March 28, 2019

Raytech Industries NYCSZ: Lobby

A wash of natural light spills down from the windows overhead to illuminate the expanse of the Raytech building's lobby and its white flooring, assisted by softly luminous light strips that line the top and bottom edges of dark grey walls during the evening hours when the sun isn't up to provide it. The first thing visitors to the building see once they've come through doors of bulletproof glass is the front desk, with open space to either side of it and the vertical Raytech logo on the wall behind, backlit for a striking effect in red and white.

Along the walls of the lobby are framed newspaper stories about the company - announcements of the opening of their main factory in Detroit and of this very building in the New York Safe Zone, stories covering the technological breakthroughs and advances by the company's innovators, and mentions of the company's infrastructure restoration work in contract with the government. Tall potted plants are placed between the framed pictures, keeping the lobby from feeling overly sterile and unnatural.

It’s been a little over a month since Isis has stepped foot inside the towering Raytech building that stands like a testament to the different lifestyles that divided her and Kaylee, steering the two women down vastly different paths. It’s a point that clearly isn’t lost on the small redhead, standing in the lobby, hazel eyes taking in her surroundings with a look of aura of distrust that seems perpetual present. At what point is trust paranoia, anyway?

Even still, the woman stands a bit straighter and a great deal better dressed than her visit prior. Fine gray slacks and a fashionable black blouse with silver stars framing the curve at either side are a side note to her blown out garnet locks and a few glinty accessories. A black leather portfolio is tucked under her arm, hollowly bearing the rippled drumming of her fingertips. She’s arrived early per Sera’s instructions, but has opted to stand, rather than sit, as she waits.

As far as the receptionist is concerned, she seems far too into organizing a portfolio of cards to pay much attention to the visitor to the lobby, after checking her in and giving her a guest badge. Probably best not to ask what kind of cards, lest one lose their sanity.

At least the robot butterflies circling above are pretty, even if they’re likely meant as a combination marketing ploy slash distraction from the guards in the lobby.

After a bit, Richard comes strolling into the foyer in a black suit with a red tie that’s clearly been tailored to fit and probably costs as much, an easy smile curving to his lips and his eyes hidden by dark glasses. “Ah, Isis, I presume,” he greets, stopping just past arm’s length and giving her a thoughtful once-over, “Sorry for the wait, you know how things can get.”

Robot butterflies… Cool, but probably spies. They’re noted with the same apprehension as the rest of the building before hazel eyes are drawn back down by the sound of her name.

Isis’s left eyes scrunches up a bit. “Yes, that’s me… Mister Ray?” The suit says one thing. The hangover sunglasses in the middle of the day say another. The redhead clears her throat to dismiss any further incredulousness from her alto voice. “Of course,” she comments, though anyone who knows her would spot the lie easily enough - she hasn’t the slightest idea how these things can get, but that doesn’t stop her being grateful. “I appreciate you making time to speak with me. I understand my original drop-in might have ruffled a few feathers, for which I apologize. Speaking of, how is Kaylee?”

The redhead doesn’t offer a handshake or equivalent business greeting. In fact, she moves both hands in front of her, curled fingers making a shelf on which the small portfolios rest over her middle.

Nor, it may be noticed, does Richard offer his hand. “That’s the name on my office door, so I certainly hope so,” he quips, inclining his head slightly in a nod, “And given the subject, well… I can understand.”

He sweeps an arm to indicate where they’re walking, turning to walk casually down one of the side hallways, “My sister’s doing just fine, thank you for asking. The subject at hand doesn’t… sit with her very well, I’m afraid, so she doesn’t care to speak about it at length.”

“That’s an understatement,” the words come with a side of saucy sarcasm before Isis falls in step with Mister Ray. “I’m glad to hear she’s doing well,” Isis says, continuing with idle pleasantries to fill the silence as they walk… “Strange how the people I meet keep kinda bringing me back around to your sister.” She gives a puffed, quick laugh and a shrug of one shoulder in a way that leaves the word ‘strange’ ambiguous. “Anyway, she said you have a knack for collecting information on people and don’t suffer the same she does by talking about He Who Must Not Be Named.”

“I do.” An elevator panel is touched, and the door slides open. One might notice a lack of stairs anywhere. There’s ramps and elevators, but no real steps, as if the entire building were made with allowing wheels in mind.

Richard steps into the elevator with a quiet chuckle, “And Monroe and I go way back.”

The lack of stairs is actually something of a Gods-send to the quirky redhead. Her shoulders ease noticeably at the reflective elevator doors, but it’s a short lived repose as Richard chimes in. “You do?” Isis leans her head forward and aside, trying to get a better look at the man beneath the shades. She doesn’t recognize him, then again her work with Adam was on a very small and limited scale. So, she eventually stops eyeing the business man and quickly fixes her posture, quickly brushing a few errant locks away from her hazel gaze.

“I shouldn’t be surprised - he did, probably does still, have a way about him.” She stares at their reflections in the elevator door before their images are distorted and divided, yanked apart to reveal the waiting lift. “How did you two get tangled together?”

“A very long time ago,” Richard replies with a shrug of one shoulder, arms folding across his chest as the elevator moves upwards, lens-hidden gaze holding on the mirrored door, “I wasn’t quite so well-off, and Adam hired me for a job that I was very well-qualified to perform. We crossed paths a few times since then, over the years.”


The doors slide open, and he waves a hand to the hall beyond, “After you.”

“… Running corporate America?” Isis inquiries regarding what ‘well-qualified’ means for this unique business man. The hand extended in invitation, though, steals up her attention and Isis takes a moment to lean forward at look outside the elevator before stepping forward off the lift. She waits just after the threshold, eyes roaming with gleam that is part curiosity and part suspicion before easily falling in step beside Richard once more.

The conversation continues, “And despite these run ins, despite the condition he’s left your sister in, you haven’t managed to…” To what? Her lower lip is pulled in and aside, bitten briefly beneath her little teeth. She lifts one hand from the black portfolio and makes a half-shrug of a gesture, leaving the CEO to fill in the blank.

“To be entirely fair, my sister’s… condition was not caused by him or any of his people,” Richard replies with a shake of his head as he steps out of the elevator after her, making his way down the hall, “Rather, someone was very invested in her ceasing any involvement with him. Which was admittedly a good idea, but they got a bit— ham-handed with it, honestly. Some people don’t know how to do things without resorting to blunt instruments.”

Dry comments, though he doesn’t answer her first query rather conspicuously, making his way down the hall to a door and bringing up a card to a flat black panel beside it. The door unlocks with a click, and he pushes it open before leading the way inside.

Richard Ray's Office

A large double-window along one wall of Richard Ray's office allows natural light to spill in throughout the office and provides an excellent view of the green roof on the lower floor of the building, the flowered garden spreading out between rows of solar panels.

The walls of the office are in slate grey, the carpeting on the floor matching, and the furniture is all in black glass, metal, and leather - but the modern starkness is offset by the tall potted plants that grow along the side of the room opposite the window. The CEO's desk is a broad affair in black glass with a video feed and touch-screen built into the surface of the desk itself, the non-interactive portions of the desk decorated sparsely with a plastic 'in' and 'out' box, a framed picture of Elisabeth Harrison, and an old onyx chess king set beside it like reminders of times long past.

“As for your question,” he says once the door is closed, heading towards his desk, “He needed me to steal something, and as likely the best living thief in the world he came to me.”

The redhead stops a few paces inside the sterile office. Her attention drifts with a seemingly idle cast from one side to the other, but a closer look reveals a restless shift of her weight to the opposite hip. “Huh,” the shaded remark is given with a fresh look to the suit-clad CEO. Strangely enough this admission of excelling at crime seems to relax the slender woman more than anything else to this point. She takes a deep breath, adjusts her portfolio back under one arm, and moves towards the large window.

“From ‘the best living thief’ to… all this.” It’s worth noting the last word is not said with much reverence. Her hazel gaze considers the rooftop, garden, and panels outside. “Your own little slice of civility in a great big cluster fuck.” She purses her lips in a thoughtful way that clearly damns up any further remark from spilling over. After a moment she adds a casually little chirrup of, “It’s nice.”

With that she turns back to Richard. “Your sister and I have a mutual… acquaintance.” Is that the proper term for a holy-seeming, electric gas cloud with which one shares marijuana substances? “I want to help this person and, at least I think, in order to do so I need to know more about Adam - everything you’ve got on him, really.”

“That’s one way of putting it…” Richard’s fingers trail over the black glass of the desk as he steps around it, moving to claim the chair and dropping himself down into it, leaning back with a subtle creak of metal and leather, “…I’m a New Yorker at heart. I can do the most good for the city from here, where I can see the worst of it.”

If one looks past the gardened rooftop, the solar panels, they can see the crumbling buildings of Jackson Heights, the half-abandoned ruined sprawl with construction zones everywhere starting to rebuild.

A hand comes up to rest his chin against, and he regards her for a long moment. “A lot of people are looking for Monroe right now,” he observes thoughtfully, “He’s possibly the biggest danger to the world at the moment - from certain viewpoints, anyway. Just telling you information again is putting you in danger, honestly. What makes you think information about him will help your friend?”

“The most good…” Isis’s quiet echo of Richard's words sounds hollow against the large window. Her reflection reveals a bitter-sweet smile. “Forgive my saying so, but it’s my experience that when it comes to big business the phrase ‘the road to hell is paved with good intentions’ has never been more true.” The left corner of her smile twitches up a bit more and she crosses back to the room and finds a place to settle opposite the CEO. Smiling easily enough, its clear there's no intended accusation behind the words, just a fact of her personal observations.

"Well, my friend didn't give me much to go on. She's in a tough spot and time seemed limited. She mentioned your sister, Adam, and a 'Huntress Huruma'…" A casual shrug lifts slender shoulders beneath her loose, garnet waves. "Three leads and I more familiar with the first two than the last. I used to work at Adam’s bar for a short while, way back when, but the experience didn't give me much insight." She shifts forward, gaze narrowed in curiosity. "But, ‘possibly the biggest danger to the world’? Clearly I'm missing a lot. As far as I'm concerned, being alive now-a-days is simply a danger…" She makes a vague, subtle gesture towards the window. "So, what makes him so dangerous and why are so many people looking for him?"

The quote earns a barked laugh from Richard. “You’re right, there,” he admits, “About Big Business, by and large. I have to try my best, though— I owe the world that much, for what it’s lost.” Regret, there, one shoulder lifting in a bit of a shrug before it falls once more, “That much and more.”

Silence falls for a few moments after those words, and he considers her for a long time through the dark glasses he’s wearing before speaking again.

“Adam is several hundred years old,” he states then, “He’s been a Nazi collaborator, one of the founders of the Company, and God only knows what else in his long life. He’s a sociopathic narcissist that believes that those with powers should rule over those without, and right now he’s building a movement of evolved-supremacists to mirror what Humanis First did a decade ago, only from the other side.”

“Several hundred years…” she echos in a breezy tone of disbelief. The way the redhead grows still opposite the desk might have been less obvious, if she had not been so clearly restless up to this point. After a moment more, her stillness breaks. At first it’s just a few cracks around the edges - a quick flutter of her lashes as the reality sets in. Then her grip adjusts on the portfolio and she’s shaking her head. “Wow. I mean… Hundreds of years must lend itself to plenty of bad decisions, but…” Her tiny, buttonesque nose wrinkles in disgust. “Nazis?

Isis’s nose gives a brief, rabbitty twitch - a habit that occasionally still reveals it self when she’s deep in thought. Her hazel eyes are more vibrant as they look through, rather than at, the man across from her, gears grinding away at the thoughts churning behind her gaze. “So, is he invulnerable? Are we thinking vampire or more Highlander?” She’s clearly dropped all pretense of business etiquette regardless of her snappy attire and fashionable appearance. She leans back as Richard’s image comes back into focus before her. “If you find him, what would you even do?” Clearly the redhead’s curiosity knows no bounds - as intrigued by the information about Adam as she is trying to figure out the CEO immediately before.

“I’ve wondered if he had the idea of racial supremacy in his head before the Nazis, or after,” Richard admits, lips pursing briefly, “He certainly enthusiastically cooperated. That’s where certain… projects began, some of which lasted until just before the war.”

“Some of which never stopped.”

He leans forward, then, hands folding on the black glass of the desk as he regards her from behind those inscrutable shades of his. “Not a vampire, no,” he dryly observes, “Just a very efficient regenerator, the strongest we have on record. His body naturally returns to its baseline, so short of— well. He’s never died, so who knows what it’d take to kill him. As far as what I’d do if I found him…”

He chuckles faintly, “I have a question for him.”

Isis scowls thoughtfully as chicken-and-the-egg question in a variation of Ada-and-the-Nazis. Clearly the question is as unsettling as it is curious. For the first time Isis flicks open the leather portfolio. A pen tucked in the fold is taken up and a quick note made. “The strongest? What sort of things has he managed to survive, anyway?” The pen scribbles an extra moment still before Isis looks up from beneath red curls.

Her hazel eyes trend towards a golden color now, dark lashes casting a soft shadow as she considers Richard anew. “Well, now I have to know…” The statement begins on an air primarily of amusement with just the slightest hint of impatience. After, she’s tying her damndest to remain focused, but the gentleman keeps diverting her attention.

She leans back in her seat. “What would you ask?” She smiles.

“I don’t have a record of his deaths, I just know that shooting him isn’t likely to work,” notes Richard with a one-shouldered shrug, “Burning, equally. I’m sure there are ways, but so far they haven’t been tested.”

A twitch of his lips answers her question, then. “Do you really want to know? It won’t make much sense to you, and I won’t explain it…”

“But I’d ask him… how one kills a dragon.”

She’d been warned that no explanation would be forthcoming, but it does stop her from lofting a brow and lingering in long enough silence afterwards. Just in case. She touches the tip of her tongue to her left canine as her shadow image is reflected back upon herself in Richard’s shades.

Either uneasy at being unable to see the man’s eyes, or unnerved by the reflection presented, she lets the weight of her golden gaze break swiftly away and divert to the simple note entered into the leather folder. She licks her lips, a subtle sheen left upon pale tiers, and closes the portfolio. “Your sister said you likely had a file,” she comments by way of changing the subject.

“I don’t have anything in my files that will help you find him, I’m afraid,” Richard admits, fingertips tapping lightly against one another, “Huruma might. They had an acquaintanceship, once upon a time.”

He leans slowly back, head tilting towards the window, “You’ll find her in Rochester. Wolfhound.”

Isis blinks slowly, her smile becoming more saccharine. She gives a slight nod. “I’ll leave my contact information with Miss Sera in case a useful file turns up, then.” She chuckles, the sound warm on her honey-alto tones. She idly brushes her hair back over her shoulders before tucking the portfolio back under her arm. “I do appreciate your insight and your time. It’s a start…”

Taking a deep breath, she looks back to the window, presenting her pale silhouette against a backdrop of sanguine curls. Golden eyes taking in something on the horizon of rubble and rebuilding, she adds a quiet afterthought. “The only sure-fire way to slay a dragon is to sacrifice the sheep.”

“A funny story, that…” Richard leans back in his chair with a soft creak, arms folding behind his head, “…it certainly didn’t work very well the last time. It was a pleasure meeting you. If you happen to run into Monroe…”

“Do tell him to give me a call.”

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