Far From Home, Part I



Scene Title Far From Home, Part I
Synopsis While performing reconnaissance on the Fuchuu prison, Asi realizes too late she's being watched.
Date July 28, 2019

The long shadows of dusk gradually rob the world of brighter color as the sun descends toward the horizon. Hues bleed away until only oranges and red, shadowy grays and blacks remain.

And just a flash of blue, moving somewhere between them.

Asi stays crouched in the treeline, letting the dark provided by the trees and bushes shroud her in relative anonymity that she further enhances by tying a black bandana around the bottom half of her face. Where normally a reflective, demonic grin projects outward, she wears the bandana reversed to assist with making her look slightly less identifiable… if spotted.

She lets out a slow exhale as she watches a single guard leave the front gate of the facility she watches over. He turns, exchanges a swift salute with the front gate in a simple ceremony, and then turns on his heel to begin a patrol outside the fence surrounding the facility. As he goes, Asi lets her gaze slide up the wire-topped stone fence, the tops of buildings beyond its height. There's only a single set of spotlights, that she can tell, settled at the top of the tallest tower. They're designed for looking at things in the prison yard rather than beyond it.

And it's a deficiency she’ll exploit, the same as yesterday.


Fuchuu Saiteijuu-Keimusho (Evolved Resettlement Community)

Following the Shibuya Incident, a reclamation of land happened across Japan. Mostly in rural areas, land dedicated to the internment of Evolved sprung up. The resettlement communities, though gated and sternly watched, were nothing in comparison to the number done on the prisons. Even before the reclamation, Fuchu's prison was already the largest in Japan, and the sweeping away of buildings in the blocks surrounding it expanded its reach even further. The new section of prison erected to contain those who were either born unlucky enough to be classed as too dangerous to live freely, or broke Japan's one-strike rule with such severity it merited a Class 4 assignment, has a tower at the center of the grounds which stands only three stories.

Overall, the ancillary complex is designed to be as unobtrusive as possible to the outside world — surrounded by thick stands of planted trees that serve to visually separate the land from the rest of the Tokyo suburb. It isolates those within even further while protecting those outside its borders from the discomfort of knowing who their neighbors are… or what they go through only hundreds of meters away from civilian life.

When Asi was interned here over ten years ago, the grounds were still developing. Twice while with the Mugai-Ryu, she visited on a case to conduct interviews, and each time it had evolved further, maturing into the ’community’ it is now. She knows from that experience walking the grounds the cells are mostly-secured by physical lock and key while the tenements occupied by non-criminal residents were secured by electronic keycard. She knows these checks the guard is performing now happen once every hour to ensure there aren't any civilians lingering where they shouldn't be. She knows that the prison must be overcapacity following the massive arrests made in the Keihin Industrial Ward several weeks back, but also that it will take time to staff or construct an appropriate site to relocate most of the additional prisoners.

When the guard sweeps his gaze her direction, Asi resists the urge to slink back and potentially rustle the greenery she crouches in. She waits calmly as he walks past, heading round the long, long stone wall ringing the facility. When he finally slips out of sight, she checks the coast is clear again and partially stands, following an invisible hum she feels in her bones. Tracing the tether of wires under the ground to the nearby cloister of utility boxes that stands off the dirt path the guard had walked, she sidles up to the smaller of the standing units, eyes narrowed at it while she works the panel open.

The click of success leads her to let out a slow, relieved breath with a glance over her shoulder while she tucks away tools into the small bag worn under her black jacket. She swaps for a splitter and a short wire, reaching inside the utility box to make the appropriate connection and then physically connect her phone to the new wire she’s set up. There’s not even a moment’s hesitation on her course as her eyes flicker closed, subprocesses spidering away to delicately — weightlessly — explore the network the prison utilizes while ones she’d placed previously slide back into place within her, filled with bytes of useful information for spoofing a legitimate connection.

She got used to, long ago, the astonishing lack of security measures in place around many government systems, simply because they believed they’d done good enough with their measures. Even in a world where no solution was foolproof…

Asi feels the distant echo of sensation caused by pursing her lips together, refocusing on performing all the necessary acts to trick the system into accepting her. Minutes pass while her subprocesses explore inside the firewall, mapping out the extents of her access unless she presses deeper. If Asi were being less careful, this would take less time, but she resolves to not risk detection until she’s ready for it. Her eyes glow with an inner blue light, blind to the world around her as she shifts her crouched weight in silence, gaze dancing back and forth on technological sights.

The prison kept their most secure systems on a local, closed network, but neglected to segregate it entirely. Computers used to access that network also had access to the Internet, and served as gateways for her to piggyback her way in. She bypasses access of stores of names and personal details of those interned, seeking instead the mechanisms required for whispering that doors open and alarms stay silent.

A small, satisfied note leaves her when she believes she has a plan for what she needs to do the next time she comes back, and she issues the command for her subprocesses to return to her.

The next second, the back of her head blooms with pain, and all she can see is white. Gasping, her phone slides from her fingers and she tries to get her bearings about her. Had she tripped some kind of technopathic countermeasure?

… Sort of.

As she comes back to her senses, she’s laying on her side and aware of a guard standing over her, bewildered expression on his face and baton in one hand. With his offhand, he starts to reach for his walkie-talkie, groping on his chest to unvelcro it. Asi pushes herself up roughly, grabbing hold of the bottom of the radio and issuing pure will on it for it to change broadcast channels while she tries, and fails, to yank it free. When he brings his baton arm down on her neck and shoulder, she releases it and he speaks a clipped request for backup into a scrambled comm.

Seeing nothing but static, Asi backpedals low to the ground in the dark, aware of where the utility boxes and where to step to avoid careening into them are by nature of her ability only. She hears a barked order for her to stand down, hears the prison guard rush to stand over her. For the sake of buying a moment of time, she stays on her knee, hands beginning to raise by her side in a gesture like surrender. But when he reaches out to grab her mask off her face, her left hand darts forward and up, curled knuckles colliding at the tender location where chin and neck meet.

Along with the sound of him coughing, she hears him stumble back as her eyes start to adjust to the dark. She lunges forward with the intention of bringing him down, her hand reaching for his vest to throw him to his back. The guard scrabbles on his footing but stays up, whereas Asi is overextended on hers in the struggle. Another powerful crack of his baton across her back sends her face down into the dirt, hands barely catching herself from it being an even worse fall. Her shoulders tense to propel herself back up again. But she hears the baton hit the ground, exchanged out for the sound of metal on fabric as a gun is drawn and beaded on her.

She hears the safety click, along with a shout down at her.

Don’t move.

God damn it.

Asi grits her teeth, shoulderblades hunched as she holds her position. The guard, feeling safe because he’s got a gun and she doesn’t, holds the radio up again to once again request assistance. Her mind whirrs as she glances back at him, the blues of her eyes dark again as she sees clearly the weapon in his hand. She had hoped it might prove to be a taser, even a dart gun, but were he firing adynomine at her, he’d have used it already.

What an age they lived in, where prison guards wore guns. What was this, America?

He notices she’s turned her head and brandishes the gun at her, shouting again for her to be still. He’s nervous, she can tell. He doesn’t know for sure what she can do, just that he saw the unnatural glow of her eyes before.

She bristles, anticipating the worst.

But the guard is the one who winds up screaming. It’s a muffled, gurgling yelp, accompanied by the crash being picked up off of his feet by a torrent of water that smashes him up against the wall beside the panel. The water then stops, halts in mid-air, snakes to the right and angles down to look at Asi like some kind of serpent, and then retracts back in the direction that it came from. That movement provides Asi with a clear eye-line to its point of origin, a busted irrigation spigot now bubbling up from the ground where once was a sprinkler head. Not far behind that, a figure clad entirely in black tactical gear is rapidly approaching. Except, he isn’t another guard. The mysterious figure’s face is hidden behind a cloth mask stenciled with a grimacing, white skull. A narrower silhouette in matching gear is not far behind.

The hulking figure approaches silently, but offers a wordless upturned palm and a slight shrug of his shoulders to indicate friendly as best as he is able to. The figure behind him, though taller, is probably close to one-hundred pounds lighter if the shape of his frame is any indication. The broader of the pair steps aside, letting the other pass.

There is an odd finger wiggle wave - that feels familiar - from the leaner figure when he turns to Asi. It was rather… proper and kind of awkward looking since the mask worn was that same skull.

They then turn to the guard kicking them over to his stomach. Knee in the middle of the shoulderblades, a moment is taken to secure limp limbs behind the guards back with a pair of zip ties. Now immobilized, the unconscious guard is roughly shoved on to his side, so that a piece of duct tape can be applied to mouth. The gun that had been pointed at Asi a moment ago is tucked into a pouch pocket along with spare ammo.

The radio is unclipped and handed to his bulky partner for safe keeping, when he gets to his feet. Then thicker companion gets a pat on the shoulder in thanks, while the thinner one slings their rifle on their shoulder. Hands free, they step forward and push up protective goggles just enough so that she can see two familiar, dark brown eyes.


“Hello, luv.” purrs out Godfrey in a quiet voice, Asi can just imagine the rather wicked smile he probably has behind grim features. “Miss me?” Should she need it, then a hand will be offered to help her to her feet.

In the middle of staggering back to her feet, Asi does clasp her hand around Godfrey's to better hoist herself up, her own expression hidden mostly by the bulk of the bandana she wears. "If you were waiting for the most dramatic moment to make an entrance," she greets him flatly. The rest of the unspoken sentence is somewhere between thank you and I'm going to kill you (in the most affectionate way possible), and the unnecessary words are discarded in the interest of time. Her look says it all anyway.

There's cognitive dissonance happening she won't fully sort through until later. Until then, the information she has stored directly on her person is screaming to be let out and heard, and it's single-mindedly she crouches to retrieve her tools, unhooking splitter and wire and resealing the utility box. Like no one was ever here.

"They will come looking long," she asides while zipping the bag strapped to her shut. Words are missing, her head still ringing from the blow. She must have been hit harder than she thought— surely it's not actually Godfrey here. "Will need to place him away from here, put him back on his path. Reduce suspicion as much as possible."

Finally reaching up to touch the back of her head tenderly, Asi winces, but finds no blood. Good. She shifts her gaze the way of the second figure warily, noting the water that head swept the ground. She fails to come up with any hydrokinetics she knows offhand, and decides who he is is a question, too, to be delayed until later.

So instead she turns back to who she believes to be Godfrey, aiming to walk and talk. She grabs the unconscious guard by his feet, indicating with a gesture of her head someone should grab his top half so they're not dragging him in the dirt. Then she's satisfied enough with their process to ask with a touch of bewilderment, "What are you doing here?"

Godfrey watches her grab the feet of the guard and arches a questioning brow. Well then… He then turns to his companion and gestures for him to help Asi.


“I’ve got this,” Godfrey’s hulking companion flatly indicates, picking up the unconscious guard by the collar of his jacket, then flips him over his shoulder in a fireman’s carry like he weighed as much as an unruly housecat. He scans the area, tracking the direction of his path that Asi indicates, and then trundles off to deposit the figure away from the actual site of the altercation.

There may or may not be a proud look as his companion picks up the guard. See. Godfrey is helping… by making someone else do it.

It allows him a chance to answer the question, while moving to look at where she was hit. “Well, it just so happened that we were in the neighborhood and thought I’d check on you.” Godfrey looks back the still unknown man, watching him for a moment. “Good thing I did too. He was ready to shoot you.” Lips press into a line behind the mask. “Couldn’t exactly let that happen, could I?”

Focus shifting back to Asi, Godfrey nonchalantly asks, “You wouldn’t happen to know where I might locate Monica?”

In the neighborhood. In riot gear.


Well, at least they'd come to her rescue quietly. Asi looks back in the dark but sees no sweep of flashlight yet, hears no sound of alarm raised despite the yell. The guard's doubling back around hadn't been planned. From what she can hazily remember of the yard plan at the moment, they were behind one of the tenements buildings rather than outright jail cells. She supposes no one who might've overheard would lift their head, for concern of inviting undue attention onto themselves in the process.

Her stomach turns, the angry fire that had been coursing through her veins stoking anew. The purpose she's here for remains firm, stuck in her mind.

They needed to get out of here.

"We're birds of a feather," is how she says yes to his inquiry. There's a distinct lack of a thank-you in her adrenaline-driven state, focused entirely on the mission at hand. When the unconscious man is dumped along the wall like a sack of potatoes, she considers him for a moment before reproducing her knife to undo Godfrey's work, removing bindings and duct tape to make the dangerous efficiency of her savior's acts less apparent to the unknowing observer. It's also further incentive to be light on their feet and get moving. When Asi stands, she looks over the second man again with a scrutinizing eye. Eizen wasn't hydrokinetic, nor did he cut such a figure like that. Yamagato security, that she knew of, didn't have a man that fit this description…

"I have to get this information back. They'll be waiting for it." Asi says to the air more than to Godfrey, given she doesn't figure he knows the who involved— the would-be conspirators on the prison break that she's been doggedly planning. "And now…" She looks down to the unconscious guard with a furrow of her brow. In a mutter meant only for herself, she asides, "We've got to move up the timetable now."

Without hardly a beat elapsing, she looks back up to Godfrey. "Come," she issues, already turning to head back into the trees. An eyebrow arches at him while she looks over her shoulder. "Unless you have somewhere better to be?"

Her steps pause for just a moment as she lets the question hang. As if, depending on what his reply is, maybe she'd change course. After all, they looked like men with purpose and were lingering near Japan's largest prison armed for war.

Maybe it was a war she could get behind.

The broad-shouldered man hurling the unconscious — unconscious, right — guard off his path and into a low set of bushes likely agrees, then the cavalier nature of his handling of that armed man. As he circles back, long-legged strides catching up to Asi and Godfrey quickly, he angles a look down to Asi. “Ain't nowhere better to be other than on the right side of the line,” he says, offering a hand out to her as if this were proper introductions. “Mortlock,” he says, sausage-thick fingers brandished, “Jaiden Mortlock.”


The name isn't an unfamiliar one to her. Jaiden Mortlock was a photojournalist during the Civil War, an ally of the Ferrymen and a man who recorded so many atrocities placed against the American people that he was brought in to testing in the Albany Trials sixteen times. He did so each time with aplomb. Now, here, it looks like the war didn't end for him.

“Yes, yes… Ditto for me, too.” Comes the reply on the heels of Jaiden’s answer, if a bit blase. “Let's get that information safe. If you’re planning what I know you are…” His shoulders shrug with his lack of concern for what it is… In fact, Godfrey tugs his goggles back into place and unslings the rifle, unlike Jaiden he doesn’t have the built in defenses. “Well, ‘m in. I do enjoy a little fun now and then, luv.”

He might be a bit too enthusiastic sounding… but then the life of a Liaison is rather dull sometimes.

However, as soon as he says it, Godfrey’s hand comes up as he amends, “After I talk to Monica, of course. Kimiko has an offer she may or may not want to hear.” Priorities after all, he must have them.

“You’re welcome, by the way,” Godfrey quips lightly as they move to vacate the premises as soon as possible.

"Later," Asi looks back long enough to direct Jaiden's way. They didn't have time to stop and chat with where they were, and certainly not the way the two of them were dressed. Her eyes narrow in acknowledgement of his person as she is, startlingly, able to place his name, wondering silently what brings an American like him to a place like this.

Then Godfrey says his piece. There it is again — that little shimmering cognitive dissonance coming from his surprise presence. Asi hooks on that word — know — as she ducks under a branch, her mouth hardening into a line while she looks ahead.

Strange things afoot, here.

Involving very small pieces of knowledge, she notes to herself.

Kimiko was really working overtime with this one, wasn't she. Her brow wrinkles.

"I guess I didn't have to call in my favor in the end," Asi reflects aloud. "She just knew."

She pauses near the other end of the treeline, where sidewalk and city wait just beyond. She half-turns back, expression deadpan. Asi considers them one by one, then asks with a weary strain to her voice,

"Tell me you brought a car."

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