Lofty Goals


kaylee_icon.gif richard3_icon.gif squeaks_icon.gif

Scene Title Lofty Goals
Synopsis Kaylee and Richard are treated to a rather unusual request from Squeaks.
Date June 27, 2018

Raytech NYCSZ Branch Office

For a while now, there have been these ads circulating in papers and other places, where a certain fairly stable company is trying to find people to work for them. Sure, a lot of people have probably seen them, the ads have been around for as long as one young teenager can remember, but she held onto one of the ads anyway. It was torn from a paper and squirreled away and eventually forgotten about. After all, for a while Squeaks was living in the Underneath where her time was her own and she relied on no one. But then a day came where she suddenly had people — like a real family. And while her occasional odd jobs kept her contributing, the opportunist in her kept a lookout for something more.

More came in the form of that ad for Raytech appearing again.

With no idea about interviews or how businesses really work, armed only confidence reserved for youth, she decided to find out more about it. And so, dressed in her best set of slightly too big second-hand clothes — overalls that aren’t yet worn through at the knees or stained and a t-shirt that looks almost new — Squeaks made the trek through the Safe Zone to stand importantly before the receptionist’s desk.

She might be a little familiar by now, even if she isn’t a regular visitor. Her red hair and blue eyes all intent upon the receptionist aren’t different from the last time she was in this building. Squeaks’ manners haven’t changed either. She’s again chosen to stand at the desk and wait after her mission had been made apparent. There’s a certain you’ve got to see this quality when the girl’s presence is called in.

Of course, it was Kaylee that was contacted by the desk, not the CEO himself.

Richard Ray just happens to be walking through to talk to the receptionist, which is when he notices the youngster standing near the desk. A single brow lifts as he slows his pace, sizing her up curiously as he walks closer.

“Well, hello there,” he offers, a wry smile tugging up at the corner of his lips, “What brings you here, young lady?” A glance across the lobby. Nope, she’s not here with any adults.


The young girl’s name is affectionately called as Kaylee steps through the door that separates the rest of the building from the front lobby. Sera offers out the pass to the COO as she passes the desk, heels clicking on the polished floor. “Thank you,” is returned as the lanyard is snagged in passing.

Her brother, of course, is spotted immediately. “Richard. Have you met, Squeaks, yet?” Kaylee asks, offering the young girl the pass. “She’s been hanging around the Lighthouse Kids, even been to visit us here a couple of times.” Turning to the young girl, Kaylee motions to Richard. “This is one of my big brothers, Richard Ray.”
There are zero adults in her company. Those ones that live in the lobby and work at the desk aren’t her grown-ups, but Richard would know that. The skinny kid is very much alone, but she appears perfectly comfortable with that. The CEO guy gets a squinty-eyed look from Squeaks when he speaks to her. It isn’t quite full of her usual suspicion reserved for those a lot older than her, but she’s judging him just a little bit.

She’s just about to explain — or probably start off with her typical hi response — when her name is called in Kaylee’s voice. There’s less of a narrowed eyeballing in the woman’s direction. Squeaks even gives her a quick grin. It’s short, because there’s Richard being introduced which does bring about her standard, “Hi.”

The greeting is chased by another round of staring. At Richard then Kaylee, then down the hallway. For just a minute, Squeaks forgets her whole reason for being here. Her quest for a better opportunity! So she sticks a hand out to the CEO to shake hands, since that’s what business people do. “I’m Squeaks.”

“Ah, Brian’s kids…” A glance back to Kaylee, a smile tugging wider to Richard’s lips as he looks back to the younger teenager, reaching out to clasp the offered hand, “Squeaks. Good to meet you. Richard Ray, like my sister said.”

The CEO straightens afterward, “So. What brings you by the facility? If there’s any more mysterious tapes or golden-eyed demons or anything like that, I may need a drink first.”

There is a slight twist of amusement to the the woman’s lips, as she watches Squeaks introduce herself. “Yes, Brian’s kids. Though most are adults now.She comes by now and then. Last time, I think it was for some advice on a situation.” Kaylee studies the girl for a long moment. “I hope it went okay. I’m sorry I wasn’t able to find any traps, if that is what you are here for.”

The telepath’s head gives an expectant tilt as she waits to see if the girl will answer Richard’s question.

Demons? “No, not this time.” That he’s asking about mysterious tapes and golden eyes has Squeaks giving him a weird look, even though she replies to the comment. “No,” she directs at Kaylee while digging into her back pocket. “I’m still looking, I haven’t found any yet. Joe and I were talking about it, but…” She’s getting off topic.

From her pocket she produces a folded bit of newsprint. It’s wrinkled, obviously she’s been holding onto it for a while. “This,” the girl explains. The paper is unfolded and smoothed out against her leg, then it’s held up for both grown-ups to see, one finger pointing to the ad about employment at Raytech. And yes, she’s serious.

“Oh, good.” Richard actually looks a bit ruefully relieved. His life’s been a bit surreal recently. Then the paper’s produced, and he looks at it - a blink - and then he looks over to his sister with a slight grin, to see how she’s going to respond to this.

Oh dear. Kaylee’s expression shows it, a bit of surprise that this is what Squeaks was here for. Of course, Richard’s look is returned. Though she knows the girls situation, which he does not. “Well..” the telepath starts, offering a smile when she turns her attention to the girl.

“This is a rather interesting development. Why do you want to work for Raytech?” Kaylee asks one of her more typical interview questions. Though it might seem odd that she is actually going along with this.

If there’s humoring going on, Squeaks is unaware. She doesn’t read into the look that’s shared, even though she’s watching the two grown-ups. And that she’s even asked why in the first place seems to inflate her confidence. She looks at the ad, even though she could probably recite it backward by now, then folds it along the creases at returns it to her pocket. “Because,” she answers. It’s simple enough, but the question probably deserves a bigger answer.

“Because it’s a big place, so I figure there’s better jobs here than out there.” The girl looks up at Kaylee and Richard. “And I want a job because that’s how you survive, better than if you don’t have a job. Plus, if I’m going to have one, it should be the best one, with the best opportunities, right? And I think here would be that.”

“I can’t really fault her logic,” is Richard’s observation over to Kaylee, smile tugging a bit wider, “We are the best choice, although to be fair I’m biased as all hell.”

“We both are, brother.” Kaylee quips lightly, angling a smile his way. She is humoring, somewhat, because she understands.

“So, what skills do you have that we can use?” The telepath’s words are gentler than she’d use with a real interview, Kaylee didn’t want to scare the girl after all. “I need to see what we do have and check a few laws… see if we can fudge a few things.” The woman gives a girl a little brighter smile.

Skills? She has lots of skills, but mostly those were learned when she lived alone. Squeaks’ eyes angle left then right as she wonders what sorts of skills would be useful in a place like this. “I can find things,” she says, deciding that’s one of the most important skills she has. “In books or places — like the Underneath. I’ve found lots of lost things. That tape with the golden eyes I found.” That last part more directed at Kaylee, but she’s watching Richard since he mentioned golden eyes and tapes before.

“I can do a lot of things,” the kid continues after that little pause. She picks up again with confidence. “I speak Spanish real good and listening. Reading, too, I read all the time. And… Lots of things I learned to stay alive.” She doesn’t detail those, as just that she knows things for staying alive is offered with a little less enthusiasm. People sometimes get weird with those details.

“The… Underneath?” Richard slants a questioning look over to his sister, then back to Squeaks, “Do you mean the sewers? All the sewer passages, and old subway tunnels and all…?” One hand rubs against his jawline as he considers the teenager, “Dangerous down there.”

Another glance to Kaylee, then back, “Do you have an ability, or… just really good at staying alive?”

“Richard,” Kaylee hisses softly at him, with an edge of amusement. “We’ve discussed this asking people about their abilities. You are such an HR nightmare waiting to happen.” The tone is affectionate though, not really meant to be a real insult.

“Well, Squeaks. I think I can make it happen, but…” Kaylee holds up a finger. “There are rules and laws I need to look over, but I feel confident we can have you do some little odd jobs. Courier stuff, mainly. Think you can be okay with that? Once you hit 16, we have more options and can probably get you on as something more permanent.”

She offers a hand out to the young teen. “Agreed?”

“Very dangerous,” the girl states with a nod and sounding very knowledgeable of such things. “But I know it pretty good.” As for abilities, she only shrugs. She’s not sure why that might be a question you don’t ask, and so she answers it anyway. “I heard they stab you with needles to test for that. So I don’t know. I don’t want to be stabbed with needles. I’m just good at surviving I guess.”

What Kaylee says next gets a wide-eyed stare. The hand extended to her goes unnoticed while Squeaks processes the decision from the COO. “For reals?” She finally notices the hand then, and reaches up to shake it. “Really for reals? I can do that. And I’ll be the best courier there ever was.”

“We might also want to see to her vaccinations,” Richard observes, concluding that her avoidance of needles might also go that far, his tone wry, “We can probably get you checked out by one of the— doctors who won’t ask too many questions, though. Make sure you’re healthy and all, Squeaks.”

He pauses, “Is that your real name, by the way?”

“Yes, for reals. Though I wouldn’t go around saying so.” It was going to be a bit tricky to do, but she’d make it happen. “Cause then all the kids would be showing up and asking and we only have room for one courier intern.” Kaylee glances at Richard with a bit of a smile, in truth she’d like to see the kid given a once over too, maybe new clothes. That was the mom in her.

If you want it, Squeaks,” Kaylee adds after her brother. The fact the teen was there asking for a job felt like a big step. Baby steps… baby steps. She’ll fill him in later, rather than put the girl on the spot.

The deal is sealed with a firm nod. “Cross my heart,” Squeaks begins a promise until… Vaccines? “I have to get shots to work?” That doesn’t sound so good, and she starts eyeballing Richard all over again. She’s almost relieved when Kaylee tacks on that it’s her choice in that matter, but she still side-eyes the CEO suspiciously.

“Squeaks is what everyone calls me.” Might as well answer the question, even if she’s not so sure about things now. She even sounds a little reluctant to answer. “But it’s not my really real name.”

Richard spreads his hands a bit, “No, fair, fair. You’re right,” he allows with a wry smile, shaking his head, “Sorry, kid. Been too long since I was living on the streets, I was forgetting what it was like…”

He looks back down to her, “So, sorry, I was being a little overbearing. Squeaks it is. And if you want a medical checkup ever, we can handle that, but no pressure— shit.” He looks up to Kaylee, “I still need to go see Julie at the hospital. I need to tell her about Jean-Martin.”

That gets a look from his sister. “You haven’t— “ Kaylee gives him a unbelieving look. “Richard!” She motions at the door, with a rather demanding look. “You better get on that. Like months ago. I wouldn’t tell her you forgot either.”

Kaylee is gives a soft huff and looks at Squeaks. “I will take our young courier here to meet a few people over in admin and get her set up with a badge.” A temporary until the COO can look over things, smooth the way with Luther, too. Maybe bring him a sandwich from that place they eat now and then.

“Welcome to Raytech, Squeaks. Hopefully, we can live up to your expectations, hmm?” Kaylee offers with a bright smile.

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