dajan_icon.gif eizen_icon.gif huruma_icon.gif juwariya_icon.gif mihaja_icon.gif

Scene Title Lies
Synopsis The reason for Praxis' attack on the Madagascar envoy is revealed.
Date June 3, 2019

It's all been a blur.

From the phone call an hour ago to the drive out from the Bastion, arriving at the Yamagato Building and doing the hurry up and wait game with security. Huruma Dunsimi feels as though her insides are simultaneously frozen and on fire. She only belatedly remembered hearing the chief of security’s name, and it took her until she stepped out of the elevator to remember it was Eizen.

He's tall, statuesque, with a face like a stylized statue; sharp angles and regal features. His black suit implies a level of sophistication but also ambiguity. It's as dark as his eyes. Focusing on material features is easier than focusing on the knot of anxiety twisting at her insides. This isn't normal.

Because this is about family.

Yamagato Building

Medical Center

Yamagato Park, NYC Safe Zone

June 3rd


“We’ll be releasing them all tonight, I believe.” Is the first thing that Eizen has said that fully registered with Huruma. Words like attack and explosion sounded alarms in her mind like nuclear launch silo klaxons. Words like injured and hospital only made them louder.

Eizen isn't a man of many words, though. He is a man of action and a man who does something that he says he will. When he leads Huruma to a glass-walled medical room, she can see the dignified silhouette of her son Dajan before she even enters the room. There's some bandages on his face, but that's all. Nothing looks too serious, except for the rips in his suit. There's no salvaging that. Juwariya is there too, likewise bandaged and bruised but otherwise ok. It's Juwariya’s wife Mihaja that lays in a hospital bed, one eye swollen shut and a deep cut on her forehead sutured closed and bandaged. It's she who is the one to see Huruma first.

Eizen's level of forwardness is a gift he may or may not know he's afforded Huruma; she remembered him, after the initial buzzing of blood angry in her ears, and the feral claws on the inside of her ribcage. Years ago she felt this seeing Dajan. The need to rip in, alleviate the pressure pushing out from her skull. Pacing only does so much, and whenever she is taken the next step it's like teeth nipping at the end of a leash.

Eizen's level of forwardness is a gift. It tugs her back, grabs her by the face, tilts her eyes back to the feet in front of her. It is times such as this one where she is reminded that there is a reason for her investments in wellness. Otherwise, the easiest thing would be holding Yamagato accountable- - and nobody wants that.

Lights shining against glass from the inside makes what lies beyond momentarily difficult to see, until it hits the direct light of the corridor outside. Huruma's eyes dart up and through, tracing the curves of her son's frame and the color of her daughter's clothes. That gigantic, silent, spidery monster which follows her around creeps with her, many legs, many eyes, unheard, whirling through walls and bone all the same.

White eyes and inky, pinned pupils meet the one eye of Mihaja's which isn't swollen closed, before Huruma disappears behind the angle of doors only briefly before appearing again, this time through them in a slink of deep crimson on brown, the severe, long plunge of a sleeveless tunic against black pants, boots that lift her a touch higher still. Wherever she was, it was certainly not lazing about at home on Megan's porch. Huruma is angles and blood and a glint of pointed gold across throat, sharp as teeth.

"Ankizy." is her only announcement, once over the threshold.

Eizen remains a ghost haunting the hallway outside of the room, watching the familial drama inside but not inviting himself in to it. His continued presence is either meant to be reassuring, or reinforce the very temporary nature of this arrangement.

Dajan’s greeting to his mother is a wordless and actionable one, a ferocious hug and cradling embrace followed by a kiss to her cheek. He smells faintly of spilled gasoline, asphalt, and tire rubber. Juwariya joins in the hug just a moment after Dajan, finding herself at a happy middle between mother’s and brother’s height, so their arms easily encircle one-another. Mihaja remains in the bed, one of her arms in a cast of some sort of foam-like polymer that looks more like a spiderweb than anything else.

“We’re all ok,” Dajan finally says, the first to disengage. “There were two Apo Mpiambina with us, Anja and Mioura.” Huruma had met them both the last time she was in Madagascar; electrokinesis and super strength. Fine soldiers, good people. “They're in the other medical bay, Mioura has a broken leg.”

I'm sorry,” is the first thing Mihaja has to say, and it comes with a palpable wave of guilt that stands out among the other emotions at play. Interestingly, Huruma notices the negative space where Eizen is in the hall, where she can't feel his emotions, but rather a static hiss.

Whatever Eizen is, Huruma presses it from her mind; he becomes a transient presence, and she will be taking her time here.

Careful hands wind around her children's shoulders, fingers pressing briefly to necks, a pulse of tingling warmth from her touch blossoming forth. Never good with words. Even now, when Dajan draws back, his words are regarded with an open meet of eyes; Huruma notes to see them after all of this. Deserving of gratitude. Soon, Mihaja's words, and swimming sense of guilt pulls her in. The hand lingering at Riya's back slides away, so that Huruma can move to the woman's bedside and draw a hand up under delicate chin.

"Izaho koa dia tonga ho anao." Huruma's deep voice is both a point of tranquility, and somehow, still carries that dangerous aura that just comes naturally, unbidden. For Mihaja, a flutter of easement against her guilt, a bit of calm to help her collect herself. These particular brushes of her ability are like whispers, easily mistaken for natural shifts. "Do not be sorry for being attacked, vavy."

If Mihaja wants to explain her laden guilt, Huruma opens that door with those words.

All eyes settle on Mihaja as well, from Juwariya’s silent and anxious stare to Dajan’s more surprised and uncertain focus. The room remains silent, though, and Mihaja turns her stare away from Huruma and her children. That she feels guilty is evident, without even needing to have an ability like Huruma’s.

Juwariya slips away from her mother, walking to her wife’s side and takes one of Mihaja’s hands in hers. “You have nothing to be sorry for,” is a more carefully worded trap than most people would give Juwariya credit for. “I’m just glad you’re ok. We all are.” That sentiment makes Mihaja shut her eyes, but also squeeze Juwariya’s hand firmly. Jaw tight, she looks back to her wife, then past her to Dajan and Huruma, then finally looks Juwariya in the eye.

“I know who sent that assassin,” Mihaja says with a tightness in her voice. Juwariya isn’t surprised, doesn’t show it in her eyes, but neither is she angry. There is a supportive addition of one more hand atop Mihaja’s, and then merely an encouraging nod. Dajan takes one step closer to Mihaja’s bedside, briefly looking back at Huruma as he does.

“Years ago my company— I took a contract with an arms manufacturing company called Heron, based out of China.” Mihaja looks briefly at Juwariya, then over to Huruma. “Heron wanted to use Celerity’s facial recognition software in military applications. Drones and that like. It was a massive amount of money, but a few years into the project I was advised that Heron had financial connections to Mazdak.”

Mention of Mazdak has Dajan bringing a hand up to his face, then scrubbing it down his mouth. Mihaja closes her eyes and shakes her head. “As soon as I found out I had us back out of the contract, it cost us millions of dollars. Heron came at us several times, trying to first negotiate, then threaten for the technology. But I refused and eventually they and their lawyers stopped…” Jaw trembling, Mihaja struggles to find a way to explain what happened next.

“The year we were married,” Mihaja says up to Juwariya, “when I was on that trip to Singapore I… I was ambushed at my hotel. Four armed men broke into my room, held me at gunpoint and… another man came in. Tall, blonde, British. He introduced himself as the Director and explained to me that— that if I didn’t reinstate Celerity’s contract with Heron, he could have anyone he wanted killed if he thought it— it would motivate me. He showed me a phone with a video on if of Dajan and Badrani in their home.”

This is clearly news to Dajan, who Huruma can feel blossom with a sense of betrayal and anger. His hands clench into fists and he struggles to maintain control of his temper and his ability. Mihaja shakes her head again, “I couldn’t— I couldn’t tell you, Dajan. I couldn’t tell anyone. I had to reinstate the contract, I— I had to protect you.” But there’s still something unsaid.

You do not get to decide whether or not you tell me about a threat to my son!” Dajan shouts, “What gives you the right!?”

Dajan,” Juwariya tries to mediate, but it’s clear she is also feeling betrayed.

The grace of her daughter is more than can be said for the son. Huruma lingers at the bedside, yet gives the pair ample space. Her eyes, almost pure, are stock still in the harsh lights of the medical wing. It is noticeably worrisome when her pupils dilate despite it. In spite of it.

The talk of Heron and Mazdak is fascinating enough to keep her focused. Yet, her daughter-in-law remained good and right when faced with them. Mihaja's guilt, however, is too powerful to ignore. Huruma says nothing, her frame looming over the twins'.

Pupils pin again, droplets against white.

A twist wrenches against the inside of her skull, pressure bumping against her eardrums. She does turn away now. Only Dajan is able to see her expression; it looks like the very one she wore upon seeing him for the first time, back during Apollo.

When Dajan confronts the facts and Juwariya tries to calm him, Huruma's shoulders tighten, the breadth of them squaring up. She doesn't turn around when her many claws sink into her children's heads, a tug by the scruff, a warning, tighter on Dajan with a swarm of calm influence. Riya, reassurance.


"Stop." As Huruma finally turns, she looks livid - - but it isn't aimed at any of them in particular. A scowl, a hiss of breath out between her teeth. "Mihaja." The supermarket presence of her mother-in-law is just as it sounds; the bearing of something royal, something sorcerous. Eyes moving through her, for just a moment.

However, it does not move past this. Rather, Huruma searches the rear pocket of her pants, sliding out her phone, and hesitating before unlocking it, thumb tapping hard against the screen. Moving towards the bed again, Huruma has no qualms about elbowing the twins out of her path if need be; to the willowy woman lying there, she passes the phone, its screen lit bright.

"Him?" Huruma whispers through her teeth, brows arched high, critical. Her gold glints, fanglike. The photo presented to Mihaja seems to be a dated one- or at least less quality than the impressive machines they have now.

A tall, ornate mirror. White walls. Huruma, younger, posed. A dress like shining black paint, eyes and lips blood red. She is the one taking the picture. An arm around her waist, hand low on her hip. Finely tailored suit, black, no tie. Blonde hair, blue eyes. Adam. An upwards look to meet her more amused one, a smile, fingers spread against curve.

She waits.

Like the tide at the beckon of the moon, Juwariya and Dajan recede. But they still see the dawning look of confusion on Mihaja’s face when presented with an old photograph of Adam Monroe.

“That's him,” is a knife from Mihaja’s mouth to Huruma’s side. She has more to say, it lingers in the air like poison on her lips, more details of his intentional strike at her family. But Mihaja knows better to hold that poisonous truth back until it is requested.

Tight jaw, sharp eyes, still as night. Huruma's empty hand cracks as it clenches into a fist at her side. There is that look again. Murderous.

And yet- - a quaver moves across her stare, breath moving out through nose, a trickle of pain in her face. She closes her eyes, then, still holding the phone at arm's length rather than bring it back to her person. Rage simmers under her skin, hot up her neck and cold in her belly. It takes her much to not lash out. Not here. Not at Mimi. Hesitation noted, the moon opens her eyes again, refocused and intent.

"Talk." Solitary words. Solitary syllables. Mihaja has, mainly, only heard stories of this woman's ferocity- - relative peacetime, therapy, family, a job to do, it all helped quell the temptations. But right now, in the blazing white light and blood red, the stories creep back to truth.

“I double-crossed him,” is the worst thing Mihaja could've said, knowing who it is she double-crossed. “I wanted— I wanted my company disentangled from terrorists, from murderers. I made a back door deal with Yamagato Industries. Heron is a subsidiary of Praxis Heavy Industries, their biggest competitor. Yamagato promised they'd be able to offer protection in exchange for the targeting software.”

Corporate warfare, with Huruma’s family in the middle.

“I'd instructed our developers to brick the Heron systems with a firmware update, we destroyed billions of dollars in hardware they were utilizing.” Mihaja’s thirst tightens with anxiety. “It happened while we were in flight. I— don't know how he— how…” she looks away, out of words and breath.

All Juwariya can ask is, “Why didn't you tell me?”

Mihaja has no answer. Nothing good.

Reading her is more difficult by the second. Huruma's stare bores through Mihaja, "That was foolish. Neither of them are what they say." She doesn't care if there is vocal surveillance, clearly. They may listen.

"All of it was." Huruma minces no words. Her face turns over her shoulder, fingers clutching the phone, with its open photo glimmering back; She finds Eizen with that stare, and even if she cannot feel him there, he is nonetheless served with her ire. A few moments more, and she turns her face back.

"I do not know if I can fix this." A lot of things, she could try. This? This is direct conflict, seated in weapons and arms deals, tech and specialized war machines. Huruma turns a look down to the phone in her hand. A swipe of her thumb reveals another candid, just Adam. Her voice is a low, dark sound, velvet despite her feelings. Much gets tuned out, only for a minute, enough to be noted, significant. "…Nitafanya nini na wewe?"

“I didn't ask you to fix it,” is a surprising barb from Mihaja who is overflowing with both embarrassment and anger, and is misdirecting it at someone trying to help. Juwariya doesn't need her mother’s ability to see that, but the sting of having been deceived keeps her from reassuring Mihaja and instead, for the moment, keeps her at her brother’s side.

Dajan looks at Huruma’s phone, then up to her. He'd been quiet for a while, but he's willing to ask the question neither Mihaja nor Juwariya are thinking clearly enough to. “You know him,” isn't the question, but it's Dajan’s way of getting to it. “Is he a friend? Why— why would— ” None of that sounds good to Dajan, so he changes his approach. “Who is he?”

Dajan wants more than a name to associate to something like this.

"With this one? Yes, I do." Huruma snaps back, barb for barb, though hers is far more imperious. Dajan’s voice has a simmering effect on her, her tension redirecting to the rest of her body. She takes her time before looking her son in the face. They are both like having mirrors, the twins. Seeing parts of herself.

"I believed that he still was. There is good in him, but…" Her eyes flick back and forth from Mihaja. "Adam," A name. "Years ago we were partners." The way she says it, it suggests in more than one way. "We were held in a prison for a time, I met him when PARIAH raided it. I stayed with him. We did terrible and selfish things, but also good ones."

Existing in a state of chaos.

"We had each other's backs. He trusted me. He brought me back from the edge of death, once…" Dajan's emotions pressed for detail. Huruma gives it to him. "I was his right hand. And now he has his hands in everything around me. I have been persuaded to help hunt him." Fingers tighten around her phone, voice dark. "Now he has the audacity to threaten all of you."

“The way you describe him makes him seem like some sort of… criminal vagrant,” Dajan says in a tense tone of voice, “while Mihaja is describing something else. How long has it been since you've seen him?”

“What does that matter Dajan?” Juwariya snaps at him, turning around sharply to look him in the eye. “He sent an assassin after us! You could've been killed!

Dajan’s nose rankles. “No,” he says firmly, “because she wasn't trying t’kill me. She had two chances and visibly didn't take them.” He looks over to Mihaja, eyes narrowed. “Same with you. If she wanted you dead, there wasn't a need to deliver a message. She was toying with us.”

Juwariya looks from Dajan to Mihaja and back again, shaking her head and clearly distressed and confused. As she's trying to formulate a response, the hospital room door opens with a soft hiss, allowing the Yamagato chief of security into the room.

“My apologies,” Eizen says in a smooth, deep voice. “But I wanted to check in on you all and extend an apology from Ms. Nakamura regarding the situation. She has requested to speak with Ms. Dunsimi,” and he motions to Huruma, “regarding the security incident at her leisure.”

Incident?” Dajan’s right hand closes in a fist, not liking how powdered the term sounds.

Eizen inclines his head in a nod of concession. “A serious incident, but an incident none the less. Ambassador Naika-Dunsimi and Ms. Naika’s security is our utmost concern.”

Huruma was going to answer her son's question, before her daughter barks back. The bend of her brow only deepens the longer the exchange goes, but as Juwariya seems to withdraw, Huruma reaches out to take her hand when she tries to string her thoughts together.

"He is right." If it is Adam, she knows that he plays. That people like Mihaja are worth more alive, until the point that he has control over what he wants. Then- - well, there are countless examples. The sound of the door jerks Huruma's gaze up, hand down to her side. Eizen's presence still a warp of static. Despite this, her ability reaches out virtually of its own accord to prod at the man-shaped abyss, as careful as a dove on a wire.

"Call it what it is. A breach. A focused attack. A successful breaking of your security." Huruma's words are venomous; if they were supposed to supply protection, what gives? As to the rest- - Huruma's tongue roves over the edge of her teeth, pressing against canine, briefly visible in a silent growl.

"At my leisure?" Incredulous, just a touch. "Why not now?" Huruma seems to challenge the readiness of a woman that isn't even present; her head of security is the unfortunate messenger boy for this. "Or does this get me an 'appointment to be determined'?"

If it goes anything like the meeting with Kam, it will be a fascinating one.

“Ms. Nakamura is available if you are…” Eizen says with a look over the others, “available as well.”

Dajan moves over to Juwariya, placing a hand on her shoulder, then walks past her and to the door. “I'm going to check on Anja and Mioura,” he says over his shoulder.

To which Juwariya protests “Dajan,” in a demanding tone. He shakes his head, looking at Mihaja and then back again.

“You two have much to discus,” Dajan says assuredly, and both Juwariya and Mihaja exchange a furtive look at one-another. When he settles his eyes on Huruma, there is just a sure nod. He trusts her, she can take care of the shadows, he will take care of the more flesh and blood matters.

Juwariya, reluctantly, moves to her wife’s bedside and looks down at her, then silently takes her hand and cradles it softly. Thankfully. Dajan was right, they would have much to discuss.

As Dajan leaves, Eizen looks over to Huruma and motions for her to step out into the hall.

“This way.”

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