Long Distance


adam_icon.gif magnes_icon.gif yao_icon.gif

Scene Title Long Distance
Synopsis Your call cannot be completed as dialed.
Date February 15, 2019

The sound of a phone ringing fills a lightless space. An old, LCd display illuminates after the second ring, showing a pixelated display in blue and white indicating the name of the caller.

Magnes V.

The phone rings several more times, then goes to voicemail.

This is the private mobile phone of Kimiko Nakamura, if this is a business call please call Yamagato Industries directly. If this is a personal call, please leave a message after the beep.

The screen goes dark.

After a few moments of silence and blackness, the screen illuminates again with a new notification.

1 Missed Call: Magnes V
1 New Voicemail

Then, darkness.

"Hey, Sensei. It's me, Magnes, I'm alive. My death was a bit exaggerated for government classified reasons, but I could really use your help. Also I need a job and I'm a physicist now. Thanks, Sensei!"

Praxis Ziggurat

Praxia, California Safe Zone

February 15th

2:45 pm Local Time

Golden rays of sunlight cast long and narrow shadows as they bleed through horizontal blinds in the angled walls. The metal shutters on the floor-to ceiling windows of a marble-floored office cut down on the glare of the afternoon sun cutting a path through the hazy sky. Illuminated by those alternating bands of light and shadow a brunette woman in a black blazer approaches a desk of smoky glass. An identification badge on her blazer indicates that she is Sze Yao, Chief Operations Officer, Praxis Heavy Industries-USA.

Sir,” Yao says as she sets a cell phone down on the desk with a soft click. “Jun in archives wanted this brought to your attention immediately.” Feet up on the desk, hands folded and blue eyes upturned to the woman greeting him, Adam Monroe turns a languid stare down to the nearly decade old Fujitsu cell phone.

Swinging his legs off of the desk, Adam snatches the phone up and looks at the screen, then turns a suspicious eye up to the woman on the other side of the desk. “You’re not going to tell me this thing has a decade-long battery life, because if so I feel like we might need to rethink our lithium battery designs.”

“Archives insisted on keeping it charged. After Kaito’s death we had the billing account transferred to us and kept the line open in the event that we’d be able to intercept communications.” Folding her arms over her chest, Yao furrows her brows. “We traced the call to the New York Safe Zone, voice recognition confirms it’s a Varlane. We can’t be sure this isn’t the clone that escaped the Los Angeles site before liquidation.”

Making a noise in the back of his throat, Adam flips the phone open and holds up one finger to Yao. “Only one way to find out,” he says, pressing a button and raising his brows slowly. Then, with a feigned excitement he whispers, “it’s ringing.

Two thousand five-hundred miles away, just before noon one day after he placed the initial call, Magnes Varlane’s cell phone rings.

Incoming Call: Sensei

New York City Safe Zone

Bay Ridge

11:46 am Local Time

Magnes is, ironically enough, standing on a rooftop a good mile from Yamagato, just sort of staring at it as he waits for a possible call. When one does come, he jumps at the opportunity. "Sensei? God, the phone service is horrible. I heard that you got caught in some kind of attempt on your life? Are you okay? Also, yeah, to reiterate, I'm alive. It's, uh, a long story. A government classified story that I can't tell. You know how it is."

The voice on the other end is an affected, nasally American. “I’m sorry to disappoint you Mr. Varlane but this is Kimiko’s assistant… James. Ms. Nakamura’s in and out of meetings all day, but she’s trusted me to take care of personal matters for her. She’ll be relieved to know you’re well.” Then, a push for information. “Where have you been?”

Magnes has been thinking of how exactly he planned to answer that question if it was asked, how to answer a classified question in a satisfactory way. "The non-classified answer is that I've been traveling and saving the world in various capacities, and got a physics degree." he helpfully answers, and then, since this isn't Kimiko, he starts to consider a few things. He has been around the block a few times at this point.

"Anyway, tell her that it's Magnes J. Varlane, the guy she taught how to fight. She'll leave whatever meeting when she learns I'm alive. SESA can verify my identity, or my various government documents. I'm sure they'll do it for her." he insists rather firmly.

“SESA?” There’s a pause on the other end of the line, followed by a thoughtful sound in the back of “James” throat. “It sounds like you’ve been through a lot. I’ve got Ms. Nakamura’s schedule open, I’m sure she’d love to meet face to face. Why don’t we arrange for a meeting…” There’s hesitation again, “are you in Japan?”

"I'm banned from Japan, I got banned from Japan when I was younger and accidentally destroyed the Shibuya Crosswalk trying to stop some guy. I need to fix that ban, which is a part of what I need Sensei's help with." Magnes goes quiet for a moment, considering a few things. "Give me 14 hours and I can be in the country."

“No, that’s— not necessary”, the voice on the other end of the line is quick to respond. “Ms. Nakamura is in America. Let’s set a meeting for March 1st, that will give her time to settle business matters. I’ll need to determine a location, is this a good number to reach you on?”

"That'll be fine, though sooner is better. This is all a little time sensitive." Magnes explains, though he does consider something. "Unless you can get me some sort of temporary exception to enter Yamagato before then, but… if there's absolutely no choice, I can wait."

There’s a moment of silence on the other end, followed by a piece of cheap, fortune-cookie wisdom. “Nothing worth doing is done quickly.” Then, less flippantly, “I’ll get back to you as soon as I know. Until then, it’s good to know you’re alive and well Mr. Varlane. I’ll pass that good news along to Ms. Nakamura.”

Call Ended.

Praxis Ziggurat

Praxia, California Safe Zone

Setting down the phone on the desk, Adam sits forward and presses his fingers against his temples in slow, circular massaging motions. “Yao,” he says with blue eyes blinked up to her, “fetch me Mr. Sadaka…” Her posture straightens when Khalid’s name is invoked.

“…we might be able to salvage Project Heisenberg.”

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