Kansas City Shuffle


devon2_icon.gif elisabeth_icon.gif richard3_icon.gif

Scene Title Kansas City Shuffle
Synopsis This had better work.
Date December 8, 2019

Raytech NYCSZ Branch Office


A hologram of the arcology floats in the midst of the conference room, rotating slowly to show off all sides; numerous blinking tags show where there’s insufficient data to fill in parts of the image, sketchy outlines hovering in place to show the best educated guess about how things are structured.

Richard’s seated at the table, hands folding on it as he regards the hologram with a frown, “I don’t like doing this any more than you do, Liz,” he admits in quiet, grim tones, “But it might be the only way to deal with this— other Devon issue.”

A request has already been sent to have Devon come meet them.

Elisabeth is rubbing her forehead with her right hand, her left encased in the brace that she's been wearing since her last field operation. She obviously understands the need for this, but it doesn't sit well. If there's one saving grace, it's that it doesn't sit well with him either. Her eyes skim the Praxia schematic and she shakes her head. "On this we're working way more blind than I like. No matter which situation we're actually walking into." She pauses. "Fucking flatworms," she mutters in disgust. Ever since they found out that both Devons are technically the real Devon, she's been mildly pissed about the whole fiasco. Not that there's a damn thing to be done about it. So it's just a low level of cranky as fuck when it comes to Adam.

Usually Devon is late. It's just a thing, he can't help that he's a few minutes behind whenever he's expected somewhere. There's never an explanation given. It just happens. For this meeting, even though it wasn't expected, he's actually running on time.

Until the murmurs from within the room reach him.

Given previous conversations, the tone of voice, the content taken without context, he pauses just beyond the door. Brows furrow, nose wrinkles as though he'd caught an unpleasant smell. Are they planning an intervention? A hand comes through his hair like it might push that concern away. He doesn't need therapy.

Wariness is worn when Devon takes the last few steps and enters the room. He looks at the display — strange, but then they're sneaky — then at Liz and Richard. Yes, they are sneaky. Like a hound who's just figured out that park is code for vet, he folds his arms over his chest.

“What's going on?” Dev asks cautiously.

“Hey, Dev.” Richard offers a faint smile as he leans back in his chair, “Have a seat. I’ve gotten some more… information about what happened to you, and then we’re going to discuss how we’re dealing with that.”

A hand motions to one of the other chairs, “Because we sure as hell aren’t letting them get away with it.”

Turning to look at him, Elisabeth offers a smile. "Don't look like you're about to get handed medicine, for heaven's sake," she teases gently. "We just didn't want to ambush you in front of anyone and you need to be as involved as we can reasonably allow in the plans. You know?" She knows he hates being kept out of the loop.

“Yeah well…” Devon shrugs in an effort to appear all casual. It must help with digesting the lack of explanation, and there definitely doesn't appear to be any signs of intervening forces, because his caution shifts and he sits at the table. “Okay. So… What happened with me and how are we… fixing it? Or whatever.”

“So.” Richard draws in a breath, then exhales it, sweeping his hands out to either side, “As we thought, it involved Project Hydra. What we didn’t realize, and found out from one of the scientists we have in PISEC… is that they finished Project Hydra.”

A grimace, “You weren’t cloned, Dev, you were— split. Both of you are, in fact, the real you.”

It's a hell of a lot to wrap the head around. Elisabeth moves to sit near Devon quietly. "I think it's part of the reason Heisenberg actually works," she admits quietly. "They aren't trying to connect you to a clone of yourself. You're literally sharing the same brain on a quantum level somehow…"

Split. Not cloned and no original. Devon sinks backward in his chair. Somehow, the confirmation seems worse than the speculation. He rubs the side of his head, fingers pressing into his scalp. “Alright,” he breathes. “So that's what's…” Not necessarily wrong, but… “I don't know. What's next then?”

“Yeah. I know, that’s… a lot to take in,” Richard admits, “But, we’re not going to take this laying down, so— we’re going in.” A faint smile, one brow raising a little, “I hope you’re combat-ready, because we’re heading to…”

He taps the table in front of him, and the hologram stops rotating. “Praxia.”

As she settles back at the table, the reason for Elisabeth's worry is now clear to Devon. Praxia is presumably very well guarded. "The mission has several prongs. One, to get in and gain access to whatever information we can about what Adam is really up to — we might even be able to help him, if he'd fucking well let us, but he's being an asshole, so …" She shrugs slightly. "Two, if we can gain access to the other version of you, getting him out of there would be ideal. If you're the same person with the same memories…" Liz trails off and says in a soft, grim tone, "Then he's sitting there wondering why we haven't come for him yet. We can't let him believe we've abandoned him, because it's not true."

Both hands together drag down his face, and Devon breathes out a measured breath. “Why, when I suggested the thing, everyone said it's a bad idea,” he wonders out loud, the vaguest hint of dry humor in his tone. He isn't arguing, finally some call to action, to maybe, hopefully getting his life back is being offered.

Hands drop to the arms of his chair and he looks at the hologram for a long minute. “Yeah, I'm ready.” The commitment is there, even if the enthusiasm has been tempered over the last several months. He lifts his eyes from the display to look at Richard and Liz. “Praxia.”

“Good.” Richard nods once, firmly, “We’ll be heading out soon. Rest up, get some practice in, double-check all your gear. We’ll let you know when the trip is scheduled… and we’ll be ready to go then.”

He offers the faintest of smiles, “We’ll surprise that immortal bastard this time. I promise.”

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