Ironman Cometh


marlowe_icon.gif richard_icon.gif

Scene Title Ironman Cometh
Synopsis Marlowe brings a special delivery to RayTech industries: a couple of Tetsujin constructor robots from Yamagato.
Date September 26, 2018

Jackson Heights

A hollow flapping sound echoes across the sparsely-grassed field that covers most of the block, white tarps hanging from a steel skeleton that has grown from the foundation of the old Lady of Fatima Rosary House. A skeleton that will one day— should funding not dry up and blow away like burnt bills in the wind— serve as the bones of the Davignon Memorial Hydroponics Facility.

A crane sits beside it, steel cord stretched down to a hook anchored for the moment since they’ve just ended work for the day, a few construction workers lingering on site to socialize and have a cigarette while security keeps vigilant for vandalism or other risks to the construction site.

Horsemen for instance.

There’s a lot of money that they’ve put into this project, and Richard Ray looks up at it through the reddish sun as it begins to set, hoping that his trust in Barney’s vision and Valerie’s ideas proves warranted. Of course, he’s put a few contingencies in motion just in case. He always does.

The first sound to disturb the consistent background noise of construction in Jackson Heights is the rumble of a truck engine. A light Yamagato delivery truck chugs to a stop in front of the tarps, parking on the street side politely close to the curb despite the fact that traffic is next to nil here. From the cab, Marlowe Terrell exits on the driver's side, her movement somewhat stiff even as she does so, but stubbornly pursuing of her goal in appearing like all is well. A passenger, dressed similarly in the futuristic looking jumpsuit of Yamagato's CED engineering team, jumps out with more spring in his step.

Marlowe exchanges a few words with the young Japanese man, and he heads around to the back of the truck to apparently unload what's been brought. The woman, though, heads towards the construction in progress. It's hard to miss the sleek suited form of Richard Ray standing there. Marlowe can't help the little smile that tweaks a corner of her red tinted lips. "Good evening Mr. Ray," she calls to him, tucking a covered tablet under arm. "I have a delivery for you."

The rumbling of the truck brings Richard to turning around, a single brow lifting as he watches the delivery vehicle roll up beside the curbside. One of the security guards moves over in that direction, but when the CEO recognizes the woman emerging from the vehicle he waves the man away.

“It’s alright, Roger,” he offers over, striding to meet Marlowe with a smile easy to his lips, “Ms. Terrell. A pleasure as always…”

Her mention of a delivery has him looking curiously at the truck and then back to her, “Oh? I wasn’t expecting a delivery— “ His lips twitch in a wider smile, “What’s in the box, as the man said?”

"I hope you're well," greets the engineer. Genuine warmth and a tint of amusement slips over Marlowe's face, an accompanying arch of her delicate brow lifting. "Why is the man referring to himself in third person?" she notes as she looks Richard up and down curiously herself. "Your security said you were out here, so here we are. As for what is in the truck…"

The woman touches a few spots on her tablet, and the other Yamagato man rolls open the back of the truck, hopping down first to allow for the pair of Tetsujin robots, fabricated with construction yellow paddings and grey metal limbs, climb down from the loading bed. The pair of robots walk over to join Marlowe and Richard, standing at attention with the second pair of constructor "limbs" hanging loosely on either side. A pair of drones buzz down, one each landing atop a shoulder of the bot it accompanies.

"These are the TX Labor Automaton, otherwise called Tetsujin," Marlowe explains, stepping back to allow the RayTech CEO to inspect the delivery goods. "They're here to help contribute a few extra pairs of arms in helping your hydroponics project." Beaming proudly as a mother would her own child, Marlowe looks upon the created constructor bots. "Please go ahead and have a closer look. And it's OK to touch them."

There’s a moment’s tension across the yard as robots show themselves — some memories of the old combat robots linger — but it fades when it becomes clear that they’re not some sort of murder-bot that’s been snuck onto the construction site.

Richard’s brows both go up as he watches them approach, glancing between the pair. “I saw the news story about them,” he muses aloud, moving to circle one of them curiously, “Could definitely be useful around here. I have to admit, I didn’t expect them to be so humanoid. Makes sense, though, the Japanese have always added an aesthetic component to their work…”

He chuckles, “It’s America that’s always gone for utilitarian.”

Marlowe comes alongside one of the Tetsujin to lean against its sturdy shoulder rig, but also in a show of its steadiness in handling an added off weight. “Damn right,” she confirms with a nod, “Aesthetic, presentation, these must be as important a factor as usefulness. Would you eat a meal that was unpleasant to the eye?” The woman pushes off afterward, hiding a flash of a wince by turning to pluck the landed drone off of the iron-man’s shoulder and holds it out for Richard to take. “We’ve set the drones up to accompany and monitor the Tetsujin during the assigned work hours, but of course all settings are modifiable within program parameters. Depending on your needs. I hope, Richard, that you could also help with putting these prototypes through their paces. Yamagato is very excited to see how the TX will hold up to real world application.”

That is to say, Marlowe is also excited, judging by the shine of her eyes.

Then her expression quirks to something more humored as she adds, “Is the grey and yellow good for you, or are you searching for a sleeker black and red model?” The woman holds in the laugh, but her amusement glimmers from her eyes.

Richard reaches out to accept the drone in both hands, turning it around curiously. “Of course. I’ll be happy to put them through their paces…” A low chuckle, and he looks up from the drone to her, “While aesthetically I’d love that, I think the gray and yellow work better for safety purposes. I look forward to seeing what they do— Alia’ll be thrilled, I’m sure.”

Then he’s turning to her with a brow’s lift and a smile, “Have you talked to your superiors about the other matter we discussed?”

“Please make sure that you have at least one human supervisor physically around too,” Marlowe insists as she pokes a few spots of the tablet screen, taking some notes down before she forgets. “Each Tetsujin will be attended to on a weekly basis as far as maintenance and any adjustments you might need done. Myself or another member of the CED will be by. Here.” She turns the tablet to the RayTech CEO, holding it up to him with both hands. “Please complete the survey and sign at the bottom to complete the receipt.”

The questions are listed in both English and Japanese, asking for his level of satisfaction with the service and delivered product. Go figure, Yamagato has a customer satisfaction survey for things like this too.

“That’s… a good question,” Marlowe replies with a reflective arch of her brow too at the man, not meaning to be coy but appearing so anyway. “You’ll have to remind me, which matter are you asking about?”

“I wouldn’t dream of otherwise,” Richard says to the first, shaking his head even as he reaches out to accept the tablet, “Call me old fashioned, but automation without any human supervision makes me nervous as hell…”

It would anyone who dealt with the horrors of the past decade, but Argentina provided an even more terrifying glimpse at what may have happened had things not been stopped where they were.

A smile as he sees the survey, replying as he goes over it, “Regarding the SEER system for Otomo, I meant.” He glances up after the comment, brows lifting hopefully, “Or has his condition improved…?”

Marlowe blinks, curious to the man's reactionary statement in the way of one who isn't familiar of such direct horrors. But, she looks sympathetic. "Sounds like you've seen some things," she ventures understandingly, a slow nod acknowledging those past horrors. And, her lack of wanting to touch upon those subjects.

The topic shifting to Otomo and the SEER system is one she embraces readily, because then she's back to an enthused speed of speech. "Ah, yes, I do have an update for that too. Thanks to your schematics and assistance, I think we are about done with the build." Her eyes gleam, a hand gesturing as she speaks. "Couple more people to consult, and when it's finalized we'll… flip the switch." So to speak. Marlowe clicks her tongue on the back of her teeth, briefly chewing on her lower lip in thought. "You're familiar with Hana Gitelman?" she asks him, "And Moni— er, Miss Dawson, should be there too." A pause, and she motions to Richard, "And of course, you will also be joining us." Marlowe smiles faintly at the idea of seeing him and Monica both in the same room. Because.

“I have,” says Richard simply to the first question, glancing up to the construction robot closest to him, “I have.”

Then he’s turning his attention back to her, a smile tugging up at the corner of his lips. “Of course,” he admits, “Hana and I are old friends. Any time I’m doing something stupid she’s there to slam me into a wall and let me know.” That’s probably a joke.

(It’s not a joke.)

“And of course, you know Monica and I have a long history. I look forward to our success,” he allows warmly, “And to meet Mister Otomo himself, in whatever manner’s possible. You seem to hold him in a great deal of esteem, so he must be an impressive man.”

"Oh yeah? Is she always so…" Marlowe seems to understand the not-a-joke, taking a moment to consider what adjective she's intending to use with her question. In the end she settles for, "majime, er. So serious?" Her encounter with Hana Gitelman certainly left an impression.

At the mention of Otomo, Marlowe clears her throat lightly and slips back a step to glance away to the structure of the greenhouse, finding a moment of silence to compose herself and her answer. When she looks back to Richard, there's a softer smile tugged at her lips and she nods once, slowly. "Mr. Otomo would perhaps give me a look for it, but I do greatly appreciate that I have been able to work with him." Sentimentality tints her voice, affection evident despite the professionalism that is maintained. "When we were attacked, one of these covered him," she continues, turning to the Tetsujin robots and laying a hand on a bright yellow shoulder pauldron, "I think that saved his life. And that's the thing about all of this, isn't it? Rebuilding, growing, for the sake of life. I think that’s why Mr. Otomo asked me to come out here."

She sniffs once, pursing her lips tight to keep her composure.

“If she ever relaxes, I’ve never seen it,” Richard admits with a rueful shake of his head, “She’s all business, really. Just the Mission, for her.”

The explanation of the robot’s role has him looking up at the Tetsujin, and then back to her with a softer expression, “Well, I’m glad it was able to save him… hopefully we’ll be able to speak with him soon, and hopefully it won’t be much longer that he’s recovered. If I find any healers that I feel are reputable, I’ll let you know immediately as well.”

Sasha Kozlow does not count.

He smiles, then, “That’s exactly it. God knows this place has seen enough destruction… we need to rebuild.”

Marlowe taps her finger lightly on the yellow pauldron of the Tetsujin bot, nodding slowly. “I only worry that he may not be the same when he wakes,” she utters softly, not looking at the RayTech CEO but to the greenhouse structures, yet her thoughts are focused further than that. When he wakes, not if. When she finally does turn back to Richard, her expression is once more hopeful and determined, turned to the present.

“Did you hit the send button on that survey?” she asks, throat clearing lightly as she tries to get back on business-mode Marlowe. “I’ll send the link to the control programs to your engineers tonight, so they will have a chance to test the settings out and take the combo for a spin before untethering.” Her hand drops off from the robot’s shoulder, and she looks the machines over one more time. It’s like a mother sending her children off to school for the first day.

“Other than that, any other questions?” she asks him.

“I understand the worry. All we can do is hope, and work to bring him back,” Richard says gently but encouragingly, tapping on the tablet a few more times before offering it back over with a reassuring smile, “So let’s keep positive there.”

He looks back up to the robot, “None for now— I’m sure I will later, after my tech people bring me a giant pile of papers filled with questions. Who knows— “ He flashes over a grin, “They may even have some suggestions for improvements.”

Nodding to his first words, Marlowe takes the tablet back with a short glance to the screen to confirm the survey has been stored and sent, then tucks the device under arm. “Your tech people ought to be green about it and not be using paper, Mister Ray,” chides the engineer with a short chiding click of her tongue. But that is short-lived as he dares to suggest, and Marlowe’s jaw drops open at his audacity, followed by a upturned corner of her lips and a mock huff of indignation. “Excuse you!” she laughs brightly, “now just for that, I’m demanding that you take me on a tour of your project here. I want to see what you’ve done with the place.”

And he should rest assured that she’s going to make several suggestions for improvements of her own along the way.

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