It's Been Awhile


asi_icon.gif godfrey_icon.gif

Scene Title It's Been Awhile
Synopsis Drinking buddies catch up, but only one of them is drinking, and only one is actually a terrorist.
Date July 19, 2019

Cresting Wave Apartments

It's been a week since the news came out — since Godfrey's favorite technopathic drinking buddy became a murder suspect on the lam. Regardless of what he feels about the matter, it seemed improbable that they might ever cross paths again if she'd dropped all her old contact methods and gone dark.


Late one unremarkable morning, though, his phone chimes with an alert. It's a simple thing, as far as unexpected deliveries go.

It's a text message, albeit from an unknown number.

How's work? Anything exciting?
Email here to reply.

At first, the inquiry goes unsigned. But a minute later follows another message.

Love, your favorite terrorist.

The chime of Godfrey’s phone, while not particularly loud, feels loud through the soft throb of his hangover. Pulling the pillow close, he flops it over his face, with a groan. Arms thrown over it, holding it to him, like he might smother himself to relieve the pain.

But then the annoying thing just has to chime again. The pillow comes off his face with an annoyed huff. “No bloody manners,” Godfrey gripes, with a glance at the clock. A check of the other side of the bed confirms that last nights conquest had vacated. A pity, she had been quite fun, but he is relieved more than anything.

The phone is slid off the nightstand and squinted at, “Who?” As soon as he realized who it was, Godfrey abruptly sits up. He’s awake now. “How can you —?” He stops himself as he realizes he is scolding a phone. Shifting to lean back against the headboard, brows furrowed as he starts to tap on his phone with a scowl. Somehow, through the irritation, he remembers to email where she indicated.

How can you bloody well act like it’s another day?
What the the bloody hell. Asi?

He might be worried.

The whole bloody place is talking about you and Monica is what’s up at work.

Staring at his words, Godfrey lets out a breath and brushes fingers through his rather disastrous hair, before adding another line.

You’re okay.

No judgement, no demanding to know if she did it, just a simple question that her current state.

An apology might make sense here, but it's not something that comes, even with Godfrey's pointed messaging.

We are fine. It's not my first rodeo, or hers.

She has the luxury of being a quick typist, her messages coming across more instant than mail speed. Still, she sticks with this method for now.

You know, if I didn't know you any better, I'd think you were flustered. Is that a hint of *worry* I detect?

He can almost imagine her teasing grin, probably hidden behind a drink as she levels a mirth-filled glance his direction.

Flustered might be an apt description for Godfrey’s state, even though he quickly responds with:

Me? Worried? Absolutely not. You got yourself into this, you are bloody well capable of getting yourself out of it.

Well, he’s awake now. Godfrey slides out of bed, wearing nothing but the silk boxers he somehow got on during the night. Not that he remembers doing it. At the moment, coffee was in order. Though he glances at the phone.

You do have an out, I imagine?

Comes the query after what seems like forever.

Or do I need to come galavanting in like a dashing knight on a white horse to rescue you? Because, suits of armor do not come cheap, you know.
Mind you, they are far cheaper than the white horse I would need to purchase. Unless the horse is a metaphor and I get this white Ferrari I saw the other day.

I haven't laughed this hard in weeks. The mental image alone is priceless.
Far be it from me to keep you from your dream Ferrari. You're paying for it yourself, right?
I'll keep the white knight scenario in my back pocket, but there's a dark horse I have my bets on at the moment.

Additional messages might be expected while the coffee brews, but they lag in coming. After another alert chimes on his phone, it might be easy to see why, visualize the teetering back and forth as a metaphorical thumb dances over the send button.

Admittedly, this is *not* how I had envisioned to be spending the end of my summer.

It's not all smiles and witticisms today, it seems.

Are you at the office yet?

You’re kidding right?

About being at the office Godfrey means.

Of course, not. It’s not even 10 bloody a.m.

The man has standards after all. He moves with fresh brewed coffee in one hand and his phone in the other to look out the window of his lush apartment. It was one of the better views, pointed toward the ocean, rather than the third world like shithole that was the SafeZone. He sips at the scalding liquid in peace - without the occasional nagging reminder of his privileged life - while he reads the newest messages.

A suffering sigh escapes, before he slowly types with one thumb.

You and I bith.

It was hard to type with just one digit.

I mean, really, you go to jail who am I going to drink with? Alvin? Perish the thought. And I haven’t seen much of Marlowe lately, she’s the worried one.

Yeah, right Godfrey… only her.

So emotional that one is.

Half a world away, Asi smiles, just one corner of her mouth tugging back.

It's why I'm talking to you and not her. She might try and do something altruistic. Her heart is too big for her not to want to help.
しかし,ゆったとおりに, I have to figure this out on my own.

Message sent, she moves from one room to another, flicking on the light in a study. A glance is cast to a curtain to the outdoors, one promptly shut before she can slip into a reverie looking out over the trees. No, she needed to stay in the moment.

She settles the laptop down on the desk, adjusting the angle of the screen before manipulating an emulator. Asi decides she's let Godfrey languish enough with being forced to type. She decides she can handle a face-to-face.

"Ring ring, Godfrey," she murmurs at her computer, watching the FaceTime application wiggle while it dials to him. It comes through from a Japanese phone number (an invalid one, on closer inspection), ringing away placidly.

There is a touch of surprise flickers across his features as his phone starts to pump out ‘Thunderstruck’ as it declares Asi wants to facetime. “Well,” Godfrey says with a grin. “About time…” Because who else could it be after all.

Without a care in the world, Godfrey swipes his thumb across the screen accepting the call. Of course, Asi quickly learns the man’s state of dress as she is met by his brightly grinning face, disheveled bed hair, and very bare chest. If it wasn’t her, well, he isn’t one to really care.

Asi!” She finds herself enthusiastically greeted by the beaming liaison. “S’good to see your face, luv.” Godfrey takes a final sip of his coffee and sets the mug down. “So murder. Bravo, go all out if you’re going to get put away for life, I say.” Absolutely no judgement there.

"Oof," Asi gives an exaggerated grimace, either to his state of dress, or to, "You wound me. Not even an 'I can't believe they set you up'— straight to falling for the media line hook, line, and sinker." She leans back, hand pressed to her chest, head tilted to the ceiling.

If she really is hurt, it's covered over with a smile as she looks back down at him. She's disheveled herself, compared to her usual look. Hair loosely tied back, possibly brushed at one point, but it's been a long day. She wears a simple black cami. Pants optional, not that he can attest to it at the moment. She's Shrödinger's Asi: pants and no pants, murderer and not a murderer.

"Another reason I can't call Marlowe, she's at work at this hour. You sales people, though," she tuts at him, tongue in cheek. She knows his role is more important than that, but he did just call her a murderer. She gets to tease him, too.

"Though if I had to pick a way to go out, murdering a corrupt official who backed anti-Evolved research, in a very public format involving aligning myself with terrorists," she pauses to take a drink from a tumbler filled with amber liquid, making a thoughtful expression, "that would be a way to go, wouldn't it? That's what makes it sound so believable."

Though the anti-Evolved research bit wasn't exactly public.

There is a sly smile from the ‘business man’ as he listens, though he isn’t looking at the screen. “Yes, well. I didn’t exactly say you were the murderer. I didn’t say ‘Great job, Asi!’ Did I?” Godfrey points out, the phone set down, propped up on a sugar container, though she still doesn’t get to see below the waist. There is a tap of keys on a laptop just off screen. His look flicks to the screen leveling a rare matter of fact look, cause he didn’t.

Though little did she know, she answered the question about her guilt that was hidden in his words.

“You are far too smart to allow yourself to be caught like that,” Godfrey adds, it is clear he’s reading something. “But if you want someone to disappear… that’s the way to go.”

Turning back to the phone, Godfrey leans on the counter and looks at her a touch more seriously. “They put a lot of effort into this frame job…” He sounds almost impressed. “You’re a technopath. Have you popped in and taken a bit of a look see at what else the police have?” In this day and age in Japan… technology was used everywhere in everything.

With a lift of her brow, Asi acknowledges, "You're right. Had you believed it, I am not sure we would still be talking." Her arms come to fold across her chest, glass still loosely held. She shakes her head slowly, looking off past the screen. She'd admire the view outside, had she not shut it off. "They have their orders, Godfrey. They need little else. It is not like the States here— innocent until proven guilty is a missing luxury."

Angling a look back toward the screen, she adds, "It is not a matter of what they have, but who. The right people gave the orders, and that is all it took." Her eyes half-lid, reflecting on the unfortunate conflux of events that worked against her, and continue to.

"Godfrey," she admonishes him, gaze refocusing on his figure, "Don't go pretending to be a good friend on my account. Dig into this at all and it may be you next." Asi sets her glass on the desk as she admits, "I have a good idea what might have triggered this."

“And it is now you that wound me,” Godfrey says with a gasp, a hand to his own chest this time. “Besides, what could someone like me do for you?”

A dark brow lifts a bit, he looks a bit confused. “What makes you —” Godfrey looks off screen. “Oh! This?”

The phone lifts and and pointed at the screen of his laptop where a messenger is open and a Brittney is telling Godfrey what a good time she had. “Sorry.” It’s a genuine apology from the man. “Seriously, though, I’m not sure how I could help from here. I’m a liaison. A glorified sales person as you so kindly pointed out.” Which might have hurt a bit too.

That being said, Godfrey casually asks, “Though I am curious as to what you could have possibly done to warrant such a spotlight?”

Asi merely levels a knowing look the liaison's way, head tipping forward. Sure, Godfrey. She believes you. Just as quickly, though, she's peering off to the side, tongue pressed to her cheek while she considers his innocent question. She almost answers, but then she shakes her head, brow creasing.

"Godfrey, I prefer not to tell you anything that could put your job with Yamagato at risk," she explains, no apology in her voice. "I poked a very large bear while digging for information." With a tsk, she drily remarks, "One I knew the size of, but I pressed on anyway."

She leans back roughly into her seat, as irritated as she is weary. Asi massages her face with both hands. "It's… complex," she admits, apology finally touching her tone.

“Come now, Asi,” Godfrey waves off the apology with a scoffing sound. “I’m a grown man and you're a technopath.” He’s not stupid after all. He crosses his arms and arches a brow, challenging her. “I know bloody well you have secured this line.” If she was protecting him, it stood to reason she was protecting him now.

“Consider me like a priest,” The man says cheekily, considering his state of dress, crossing himself and bringing his hands together like he is praying, dark eyes cast heavensward. “What you say here shall not reach the ears of my employers.”

Once Godfrey drops the act, he gives Asi his full attention. “Like you said, luv, you can’t really bring this to Marlowe and you look like you need to unload,” his gaze shifts downward, “or get laid,” he spreads his hands, helplessly, “but I fear I am unable to help with the latter being so far away.” It’s hard to know if he is truly serious about that or just joking. Though he hasn’t dared to touch her in such a manner in all the time she was at Yamagato.

For all his efforts, Godfrey gets a long-suffering stare in his direction, as much as she can, given they don't share the same space. It cracks only when he suggest she needs company he can't provide her at the moment, a soft laugh escaping her. It's a crack that gives way to more.

Asi lets out a sigh she's been holding in finally, head shaking unconsciously while she tries to box it up. Sum it all up in one go without explaining the spiderweb above and below what ultimately the core of it all is. She's looking off of the screen.

"There is a man named Adam Monroe," she says absently. "And he seeks either to save the world, destroy it, or both." Her weight shifts, one knee pulled to her chest with her arm wrapped loosely about her shin while she yarns on. "And to tell you the truth, Godfrey, I don't know which."

"He exists everywhere and nowhere. He is the driving force behind …" Blinking rapidly, she regains some sense, her voice evening out. "—much." is as much as she'll be specific there. Her gaze finally darts back to the screen.


Surprisingly for Asi, Godfrey doesn’t have anything to say to all of that right away. The man is seemly speechless. Okay, not really, there was so much he could say. So. Much. It took everything in the man to keep his mouth shut. Those were not cards he was ready to show to her, instead he reaches over and draws his coffee closer, wrapping a hand around the mug. Short, yet manicured nails scratch at his heavily stubbled jaw; he was the type that always has a shadow.

He outwardly considers what she says.

“This Adam chap seems a bit like the boogeyman, yeah?” He tries to deflect a bit with humor. “Best make sure to check under your bed tonight.” Godfrey seems to wave off his bland attempt and focuses on the more serious accusation. “So, you believe this Adam is behind your framing?” He looks thoughtful. Why her after all? “Sounds rather complicated, luv. If he is all you say, he may have his fingers in a lot of pies.”

Behind that calm exterior, Godfrey may very well be freaking out a bit. A bit. Could he honestly help her? If he was honest with himself, he wasn’t sure, but he already knew he was going to try.

When Godfrey asks her how sure she is, the only reply Asi can muster at first is the twinge of a smile. She has plenty of her own cards she’d prefer to leave face down, yet there they sit, visible in that resigned sort of knowing. “First in Praxis, then in Mazdak,” A quick flash of the card’s faces as she draws them into her proverbial hand from the table. A thoughtful look passes over her face, in silence considering naming other angles, other instances that make her certain his circle if not him himself are aware of her. Her brow furrows before her smile turns almost apologetic.

“I don’t have a pie or a horse metaphor for this one, Godfrey, but suffice it to say I may have pinged on one too many radars of his, if not his associates.” And that wasn’t even counting the triplets’ assault on her last winter.

She swallows even though she’s not had a drink, gaze wandering from the screen to contemplate the way the light catches off the glass that sits waiting for her. Her voice comes slow and pensive. “My issue is, the more I learn…” Asi cuts off the breath for the rest of that sentence, head shaking. She sets her chin on top of her knee, teeth clicking as she actively debates giving voice to that particular thought.

Lifting her hand to idly brush her hair back from her face, she looks back to the screen more tired than before. “The man Mazdak killed, Godfrey,” Asi explains languidly, “They were right about what he had been doing— enabling. They …” A light scoff interrupts her. “They went about it in a way that caused far more harm than good, but…”

She sits back and mostly upright, only half-considering the image of her drinking partner. “There really is a company called Daiichi Seiyaku. They really were performing research into stripping Evolved of their powers. Into a ‘cure’ for them.” Asi looks back to him more severely, stressing, “For years. Right under our noses.” A vague, broad gesture is made to the world beyond to emphasise how close it feels that it happened.

Breathing in suddenly, Asi turns her attention down to her lap. “Sorry—” she apologizes. “I’ve started to ramble.” To put a stop to that, she reaches for her glass.

The brit actually gives a low whistle, his head giving a slow, lazy shake of his head. “That is one hell of a resume, wouldn’t you say?”

Godfrey watches her for a moment before dragging a stool over to sit on, she might get a flash of boxer when he slides on to it. “I don’t know much about this Mazdak, but I do know Praxis. They have some amazing ideas and products. It is clear they are looking to make the world a better place, just like Yamagato or that little upstart Raytech.”

Leaning forward, he shifts the phone a little more center, before resting his arms on the table. “I guess the way to view this Adam or Mazdak is by the motives behind the actions. What did they world think of the Ferrymen before the war?” Again that brow tips up as he gives her something to think on. “You wonder if he is trying to save the world or destroy it, look at the man’s actions. As for Mazdak…” he trails off.

“Were the Ferrymen not labeled as terrorists while protecting our rights to… well, to live?”

It was a risk throwing things like that out there, but there was a sort of fascination with her conflicting emotions on the matter. She flashed her cards a little, so too does Godfrey, ever so slightly.

Asi is mid-sip when she sees the camera pan down to that flash of silk, and her drink stutters. No, she had not expected to see that. She supposes she's just grateful he had clothes on at all and she didn't see—

Well, just imagine she had, though.

"Nice pajamas," she coughs around a chunk of ice, chewing it through with a shake of her head before she chases it with another small sip from the glass.

She's paying attention, she swears.

"Godfrey, the only thing Praxis or Yamagato wants to make better is their bottom dollar. To stay afloat and stay ahead; all other wishes come second, if not third. And none of them are altruistic." Asi has strong opinions on megacorporations, it would seem. "Their work in helping revitalize America, for example, comes at the price of giving away pieces of the country in exchange for that help. And in that regard, Yamagato is at least more generous than Praxis is." She leans forward and settles the nearly-drained glass beside the screen. "Praxia is an entire city versus Yamagato Park's settlement. Praxis builds war tech, Yamagato builds …" Asi lets out a small sigh, realizing it's not worth arguing for to begin with. "Less war tech." Like the Tetsujin, like the cybernetics line.

And as for Adam's intentions: "The man is almost 400 years old, who knows what his long game is. And that is how he is approaching all of this — make no mistake — for the sake of the long game." Asi has rarely ever been this animated. "What's some suffering now if it brings prosperity later? The people under him may not realize his vision or their place in it, but there are broad-strokes goals that he is definitely working toward by involving himself in this conglomerate of organizations." She settles back, brow lifting. "The world is his chess board. The people in it merely pawns. And the thing he plays against?"

Asi trails off at that, pensive again. She tries to shrug off the unspoken heavy thought with a wave of her hand. "Maybe no one, at this point. Maybe he is just working to control both sides so he can control the outcome. Make the revolution as well as the weapons that are sold to combat it. Show his hand when the time is ready and he moves to consolidate his power."

She lifts her other hand so both are held, mouth drawn into a line while she weighs the matter out. "Right, wrong; good or bad; terrorist or revolutionary — it's all a matter of perspective. More than that, it's complicated. There is no black and white. It's all varying shades of…" Asi searches for an appropriate metaphor and lets out a laugh when she finds one.

"of technicolor."

Leaning back, she throws her hands up a little higher. Her cheeks are colored.

She's probably been drinking for a while.

"… I had a point," it dawns on Asi. Looking back to Godfrey, she blinks twice, arms falling to her lap. For a moment, it seems it escapes her, but then she emphatically states, "The point being even despite that, how you do things — it still matters.

"The how."

When Asi looks Godfrey’s way, she finds the bare chested man with his chin kinda resting on his hand as he watches her with an annoyingly amusing smile.

“‘The how’ what?” There is a blink and that smile pulls a little further to one side, “You lost me after…Oh, I don’t remember where… Maybe after the bit about my boxers,” Godfrey comments drolly, his other hand flipping that away as not important. “But I couldn’t stop watching how simply adorable you look when you go all tin foil conspiracy theorist.”

Godfrey wiggles a finger at the phone screen, now grinning rather mischievously, “In fact, I’m noticing this little wrinkle right there between your eyebrows.” He could be serious about that, but he could also have really heard all of it and teasing her to throw her off.


Asi lets out a breath of a question, momentarily thrown. Then:

"Godfrey," Asi laughs, slapping her hand against the side of the desk like she's slapping him on his shoulder. Her voice is level now. "This is serious!" she implores him. But even she's not taking herself seriously now. She groans and catches her face between both hands, fingertips trying to smooth out the worry crease between her brows. "Ah, this is the last time I tell you my thoughts when you are sober. Drunk you would have had a much more entertaining way to change the topic."

Head arched back as she sighs, her hands drop from her face to reveal a rueful smile. Asi should have known better than to bring any of this up with him. "How was the conquest?" she asks instead, transition smooth. "Did she have a good time last night?"

“What? Am I not entertaining?” Godfrey straightened in his seat, motioning to his near nakedness; then motioning to the phone. “Did I not just hear a laugh?” He spreads his hands, chin tilted up with pride. “I’d say I did my job well for a sober man.” He sounds almost insulted she would think otherwise.

Arms drop and he considers the woman on the other end, “The world will never be black and white, luv. Good men must sometimes do bad things to protect his own and sometimes bad men will do good, because it was the right thing to do.” See! He had been paying attention.

Picking up the phone, Godfrey slides off the chair, clearly intent on going somewhere within his apartment. “Chin up. I have a feeling things will work out somehow, maybe not in the way you expect or want, but…” There is the click of what sounds like a shower door being opened, squeak of a handle, and the sounds of water being turned on. “.. it sounds like there is still plenty of room for some of that hope stuff you hear Marlowe going on about.”

Asi lets out a note of disinterest initially to everything he’s just said. She asked a direct question and was brushed off again. Though, he did do it to reassure her.

Maybe she’ll let it slide.

“You should look into getting some handcuffs, maybe she’ll stick around long enough in the morning you can ask her how she enjoyed herself in person,” she suggests deadpan, a lofty arch of her brow accompanying. Her bare knee slips out of sight and she leans forward closer to the screen, face taking up a majority of the view. “Treat her to breakfast in bed. Or at least good-morning coffee.” The grin pulling at the corner of her mouth is much harder to miss this way, though that likely wasn’t her intent.

It’s been a while since she’s seen him, after all. She’s glad he’s doing well.

And she can see that he needs to get on with his day. “Good night, Godfrey,” she bids him.

Godfrey looks down at the phone with a mild look of horror at the mention of a conquest ‘sticking around.’ However, Godfrey then grins widely a finger moves into view and shakes at her. “Touche, luv, touche.”

Looking over in the direction of the shower, Godfrey chuckles. “No.” He leans over and adjusts the temperature on the water, “A conquest is just simply a conquest.” He clearly has no interest in wooing them or finding out ‘how it was’. “They have not earned more than a night of my company.”

Looking back at the phone, Godfrey gives a dip of his head to her. “As much as I would enjoy continuing this lovely conversation, I must be about my business.”

For a moment, Godfrey looks like he wants to say more; but then he falls into an easy smile. “You know how to get ahold of me, the line is always open to you.”

With that the connection ends.

After a minute or so, Asi’s computer pings with a new message.

And for your information I have handcuffs.
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