Interdimensional Cooperation


robyn4_icon.gif saito_icon.gif squeaks_icon.gif voss_icon.gif

Scene Title Interdimensional Cooperation
Synopsis Reaching another dead end, SESA changes their strategy in the investigation of Agent Baumann's death.
Date April 27, 2019

A stack of papers drop down atop an already cluttered desk with a heavy slap.

“All negative.”

Kenji Saito stands with his hands on his hips in front of Robyn Quinn’s desk, brows furrowed and head hung in defeat. “The lab’s analyzed for every possible contaminant under the sun. Full spectral analysis of the…” he hesitates to use the word, “remains, also negative.”

It’s been a long year for Robyn, and the calendar hanging on her wall featuring kittens in a basket — a gift from Agent Bluthner — is only marked off to April. It’s been a rough year and it’s only April. Saito looks exhausted, dark circles under his eyes and a slowness to his movements as he settles down in the chair opposite of Robyn’s desk. Now that she’s been released from her observer role at Wolfhound, it doesn’t feel as much like she’s burning the candle at both ends, but still.

There’s not much wax left.

Robyn’s Office

Fort Jay

Governor’s Island, NYC Safe Zone

April 27th


It’s been months since Agent Cassandra Baumann was found dead inside the Safe Zone, months since the investigation into her passing began, and months without even so much as a single lead. Robyn and Saito have been working around the clock on this investigation, tapping every lead SESA could think, but now that the lab work has finally come back the last hope on figuring out what happened seems to have come up empty.

Sighing, Saito looks up at the ceiling. “Final report from minerology is that the stone that was encasing the victim’s head was an artificial composite. It was made up of 15% brick, 23% concrete, and 62% asphalt. The largest piece of the conglomerate was…” Saito leans forward and pulls a stapled document out of the pile, “six centimeters?” He shrugs helplessly and drops it back atop the stack.

“Analytics suggests we’re looking at either a polymorphic Expressive,” Saito scratches at the side of his head, “somebody who can manipulate material objects. Or, a terrakinetic. But finding those who can work with asphalt is a tiny percent. No Registry pings.” Folding his hands in his lap, Saito looks at the stack of papers that amount to a giant photocopied nope and clicks his tongue once.

“What now?” Saito asks, looking across the desk to Robyn.

There's no immediate response from Robyn Quinn. Instead she sits at her desk with her head down against it's cold, supposedly wood surface. Her office is cleaner than it was a few months ago, at least; no longer are there decanters sitting out waiting for their contents be questioned, and there are considerably fewer records waiting in corners of her room. Even the record player she keeps on a table by her shelf has been shuffled off to a corner and replaced with stacks upon stacks of papers.

Her oil lamp has been replaced with something more modern and less likely to start a fire, much to her chagrin. This is a rare moment when the replacement lamp is actually on, Robyn often preferring the low light atmosphere for reasons clear to anyone who has spent much time with her. Normally she isn't inclined to care about how vexing the lack of light is to others, but it seems she's made an exception for Saito today.

"Fire the whole thing out a cannon," is a muffled reply, face buried against her arm as it is. With a sigh, she sits up, springing a bit back to life as she leans back in her chair. "Or find some skilled Expressive to powerbomb it into the sun."

Lips quirked up into a smile, she looks at Saito and laughs. "You know, something fun, right?"

With that, her expression grows a bit more grim. "I'm still not sold on the idea that part of this wasn't done the old fashioned, New York City way. Would make it hard to track, for certain." A hand waves back and forth dismissively at the notion; it's already been dismissed enough times that she's learned to drop it by now.

Sucking in a breath, she suddenly claps her hands together in front of her. "We widen our net. Analytics can't tell up everything, and I promise you if an Expressive - or combination of Expressives - did this, we're going to be digging deep. I mean, th' Act an' the registry only tell us so much. Surprises everywhere, yeah?" She grins, fingers tapping on her desk.

It takes a moment for Saito to get the reference about surprises, even though she’s sitting right in front of him. He shuffles, awkwardly, for a moment and then exclaims, “Oh! Right! Yes, I mean that makes sense. It isn’t comprehensive data. I could— ”

The sound of Robyn’s door opening cuts Saito off, and he both steps aside and turns around to see who it is. The lean silhouette of Deputy Director Voss is an unexpected one, and the glow of Robyn’s new lamp reflects dull against the square lenses of his glasses. “Agent Quinn, Agent-Trainee Saito.” He says, looking at each respectively as he greets them. Voss isn’t alone in the doorway, however. Behind him in the hall, a coppery-haired young woman — one of SESA’s newest interns — stands waiting.

Voss steps into Robyn’s office and issues the girl inside, and he makes a point to shut Robyn’s door afterward. “I’m glad I caught you two together, saves me the trouble of tracking you both down,” Voss says before turning to the intern. “This is Jacelyn Childs, one of our new interns. I’m not sure if you two have already met,” he says with a look over to Saito, who smiles nervously at Jac.

“Jac here has the unique predicament of being under a gag order for a state secret that the four of us have to discuss,” Voss says, which might be the strangest combination of things he’s ever said. “It’s about the Baumann murder.”

Jac, as she usually goes by around the office, stands just aside of Voss once properly in the office. And her eyes wander in polite investigation until she’s actually introduced. She raises a hand to make a small wave at Robyn and Saito while offering a general, “Hi.” She knows Robyn, and even Saito is probably a little familiar.

When introductions are over, the teenager’s head tilts so she can look up at Voss. It isn’t really to watch him while he’s explaining things. It’s more to give him a puzzled look. How can you talk about something you’re not supposed to talk about? She at least keeps the question internal for now, even if she wears her wondering plainly.

"Childs?" When Squeaks comes into her view, Robyn's head tilts slightly to the side - she had heard about the new interns, but had little chance to actually see them herself. This confirmed a suspicion of hers. "Bonjour, Jacelyn," is offered in a professional tone and with as warm a smile as Robyn can offer.

It falls away quickly though, her expression flattening as she regards Deputy Director Voss. "Do I need to pretend to be surprised about this?" Her tone matches the look on her face, hands folding in to her lap as she offers a look over to Saito. Oh, this poor kid.

"Well… I suppose your timing couldn't be better. Saito and I were just going over the lab analytics from the crime scene, with the hopes of turning over something." While the thumbs down she gives may lack in professionalism, she doesn't linger on it. Instead, she rises up to her feet, and motions for both Squeaks and Voss to step in. "I have a long and storied history of having to discuss things no one should be talking about. I'm certain Agent-Trainee Saito will appreciate this valuable look into the work SESA does." Well, maybe not SESA directly.

Voss smiles, but it doesn't quite reach his eyes. It isn't patronizing, but almost. “Yes, Mr. Saito, you might want to sit down for this one.” Voss indicates the nearest of two empty chairs with two fingers, the comes to invite himself to sit on the corner of Robyn’s desk. “This is obviously classified information, that much should be clear. But what we’re going to discuss, Saito, is so classified that there isn't a pit deep enough or dark enough to bury someone who leaks it.” Now Voss smiles. Saito just… slouches into the chair, eyes wide.

“A long story that Agent Quinn can fill you more in on short,” Voss spreads his hands, “is that SESA has been involved with a scientific research that has proven beyond the shadow of a doubt the existence of parallel realities. Real science fiction stuff.” Saito’s eyes widen, and he looks from Voss to Squeaks to Robyn and then back again.


“String-theory,” Voss says with a broad gesture, “the multiverse. It's real. In so much as we can tell the auroral visions people experienced were windows into that grander design. I wanted to sideline you from this information, but I found out your paperwork for approval of full agent status crossed Director Choi’s desk yesterday,” Voss says and Saito’s eyes get wider, “congratulations by the way,” and wider, “and I thought sidelining an agent for something an intern already knew was insulting.” And yet wider still.

“Anyway,” Voss reaches up to scratch at one of his ears, “SESA has something we’ve classified as off-board assets. That's people who have a point of origin in another reality than ours who possess knowledge, abilities, or physical aptitude that could be of value to the organization. Secretary Zimmerman has made special arrangements with these assets, allowing us to call on them in the case of significant need. Otherwise, we’re to allow them to live their lives.”

Voss notices Saito’s vacant-eyed expression and smiles again. “That's right, people from another dimension have decided to seek refugee status here. We’re still working out the legal status of what that looks like, but the US Government is treating it as a state secret. The kind of secret you get hung for sharing.” Voss looks Saito up and down, then slides off of Robyn’s desk.

“Anyway,” Voss says again, swinging his arms back and forth before snapping fingers on one hand and slapping his flat palm against a closed fist, “Cassandra Baumann is among the people who came from the other side. Director Choi thinks, and I agree, that if we’re ever going to solve her native counterpart’s murder, we need her skills.”

Voss’ dark eyes flick from Saito (who is still staring vacantly), to Squeaks, and over to Robyn. “I guess now’s when you ask questions.”

What?” Saito whines.

For a goodly full second, Squeaks looks like she's going to add to Voss’ explanation. It's followed several hitched breaths and even one very obvious look of surprised curiosity. Something in what the deputy director said is latched onto and filed away to be investigated later. But most of what said is all stuff she isn't supposed to talk about — and definitely she isn't going to. She promised.

To keep all her words inside, she folds her lips in over her teeth so even Saito’s continued confusion doesn't make her blab. It's hard, and she supplies a shrug, like it's no big deal. People come from other Earths all the time, right?

After watching the newly minted agent, and making sure she's not going to burst with excited words, Squeaks looks up at Robyn and Voss. “Am I going to be in trouble for talking about what I'm not supposed to talk about?”

"You mean you didn't have one of those delightful visions, Saito?" The sarcasm in Robyn's voice is practically tangible. "Merde, aren't you one of the lucky ones." She reaches over and pats him on the back. "We should talk later. I've got some Back to the Future stories that may flip your world back right side up." Another two pats and a laugh follow. "Congratulations, Saito. You may think I'm joking, but…" Eyes flick over to Voss, "situation permitting? Perhaps a discussion of my personal experiences, what you're up against now, and how strictly confidential this information is and why is in order for later."

She quirks an eyebrow at him, letting her smirk fade. It's not just dimensional refugees she's had to deal with - time travel, clones, genetic experiments… there's probably a whole world of shit Saito's never heard about, and if they're about to crack open his multiworld view like, this, well..

However, she doesn't wait for Voss to respond to Squeaks before she offers her own. "Not as long as you're in this room, Jacelyn." Eyes alight to Voss, and she nods. "In case it hasn't been made clear, sir, I'm well aware of what you speak." She reaches up, scratching the back of her head. "I was well before the crossover event."

After a moment, she holds a finger and shakes her head. "For the record, I don't think it's a good idea to involve one's duplicate in a case like this. If Baumann's talents are the same, she'd be useful, yes… but with how public her death was, I worry about potential complications. Not to mention what effect that might have on her mental well being."

There's a very flat, almost clinical tone to Robyn's remark, watching Voss' reaction very carefully. With her experiences with her overlays, she genuinely believed that - but she still hasn't told SESA the extent of her visions.

Voss lets his shoulders rise and fall. “If we weren’t dealing with the death of a SESA agent I’d be inclined to agree with you, Quinn. But we have an unsolved murder of an agent, zero leads, and zero prospects.” He motions to the lab results on her desk to remind her of how unhelpful they were. “I’m putting it on you and Saito to deliver this news to her as best as can be managed, if she isn’t already aware about her alternate’s passing.”

There’s a glint of something just shy of resentment in Voss’ eyes. “Given that you’re so well connected and a lot of your old friends were involved with this nonsense,” and by nonsense he means Alice in Wonderland nonsense, “you’re probably safe to reach out to them as confidential assets. But Baumann is an off-board asset for SESA, and she knew the risks that would entail whether they were spelled out to her or not. You don’t get to be an… an…”

“Interdimensional refugee?” Saiso says with a bit of disbelief, earning a slap on his shoulder from Voss.

Interdimensional refugee,” Voss agrees and finishes his thought. “You don’t get to be that without knowing there’ll be strings attached.” He seems set on the matter. “I want you to talk to Baumann, I’ve had Dirk email you her current address and her new identity — Cassandra Cain — so you can approach her about this. I want you to get her comfortable with the idea, and get her down to the crime scene in Red Hook asap.”

Voss flicks a look over to Squeaks. “You,” he says with a motion toward her, “will be following along with Agent Quinn and Agent Saito on all of their field work. If you can offer up an idea, by all means. But if Agent Quinn tells you to sit back and stay quiet, you do that too. She’s in charge.” Voss says with a pointed look back to Robyn. “But you’re a good kid,” he returns his attention to Squeaks. “I know you’ll do good.”

“Jac,” Squeaks first corrects Robyn, quietly. And politely. Jacelyn might have been used to introduce her, but she regularly refuses to answer to it. Then she nods a relieved acknowledgement. Because trying to keep anything secret when it’s all about the secret is going to be almost impossible. She swings a full look over to Saito, practically bouncing with excitement to tell what happened that brought all the interdimensional refugees.

Luckily, she’s gotten better at keeping a lid on it. And the look from Voss keeps it in check, so all Saito experiences is an intense, wide-eyed look that lasts seconds.

When the deputy director starts talking, Squeaks looks up and bobbles her head. “I will, I’ll follow her directions.” It’s a promise. She looks up at Robyn next, showing that same, earnest look without the head nodding.

It's hard to tell if Robyn catches that glimmer, but either way her smile ticks back up into a bit of a grin. "Well, Agent Saito… I suppose we know what we're doing tomorrow morning." A look back to Squeaks, and she nods. "I suspect Jac," still said with a bit of that French inflection from her greeting, "will prove herself quite wonderful to have along for this." It's a fond remark, remembering when she had puzzled over the ink from the book with her months ago. "She has a great head on her shoulders."

Her chair swivels forward a bit as she lowers down into it so that she can pull up the aforementioned email from Dirk."Let's see…" Eyes narrow from the harshness of the light, even despite the contacts she wears. After a moment, she nods and looks back to Voss. "I'll get into contact with her as soon as we're done, set up a meeting with her for tomorrow. If she's anything like Baumann, she'll be all too eager to help out, at least."

Fingers drum on her desk as she glances over at a clock and then back at Voss. "I won't be in the office late tonight, I'll make sure we get prepped for this as much as possible," said in an earnest voice. Ever since she went back on field duty, she's been in the office late most nights; as of late, that's been changing. "Is there any sort of, um…" Her head tilts slightly to the side. "Particular approach or coded language to use, when dealing with Ms. Bau- Cain?"

Yes, one of her close friends is Richard Ray, and occasionally it shows.

“Two geese fly at midnight,” Voss says in a withering tone, “and then Cassandra will blow a penny whistle and hang a potted plant in her window. No. There’s no coded language.” Rolling his eyes, Voss looks away from Robyn and over to Saito, then finally to Squeaks, then back to Agent Quinn again. “Just show her your credentials and explain that you’re aware of her status, she knows that it’s classified information here. Just make sure you use discretion when discussing interdimensional topics.”

Interdimensional,” Saito mumbles, staring at the wall opposite of himself. Voss looks down and over at Saito, then to Squeaks, then to Robyn. “And if Saito’s comatose tomorrow, just prop him up in a corner and let me know…” With that, Deputy Director Voss excuses himself past Squeaks, offering the redhead a small nod before he slips entirely out of Robyn’s office.

Once the door closes, Saito slowly looks over at Squeaks with his mouth hanging just a little open, then over to Robyn.

Interdimensional?” Saito whines, helplessly.

He’ll be fine.


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