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Scene Title Matsuri
Synopsis Yamagato Industries has a plan to help ease the burden of the Safe Zone's diminished food supply…
Date September 11, 2018

Acting CEO Kam Nisatta has been a rarely seen figure over the course of the last six months. Ever since the explosion at the Fellowship building and the death of Kin Egami and dozens of other Yamagato personnel, she has been sequestered in the executive level of the Yamagato Building. Morale, likewise, has been in the likeness of a ghost during this time. Heightened security, paranoia, and the trouble with the electrical grid have all compounded matters.

But today, Kam Nisatta has descended from the executive floor.

Heels click loudly on tile floor, and Kam moves with brisk purpose through the bright, white-walled halls of the Yamagato building. She sweeps in to the lobby of the Public Relations Department she used to be the sole administrator of, past the receptionist, and straight to the door of Wilhelmina Zelda Falkenrath, liaison to SESA.

And she's carrying a notepad.

Yamagato Building

Zelda’s Office

September 21

9:14 am

Mornings at Yamagato Industries are usually quiet. In Ms. Falkenrath’s office the white noise generators and soundproofed frosted glass walls help shut out distractions. The hum of her computer is a soft noise that joins the others emitted to produce a sense of calm and serenity. Sunlight spills through tall windows, and the Safe Zone beyond looks deceptively peaceful for how close it rests to visible ruin.

On Zelda’s desk, a sunlight powered toy given to her by R&D chief Hachiro Otomo on her first day sways from side to side. It's a little man in a pointed green hat with a shield on one arm, waving a sword slowly from left to right in the other. On the base it reads It's Not Safe to Go Alone and has three hearts and one empty heart silhouette. He's explained it several times.

That the knock that comes to her door is timed to the rhythm of the toy is a coincidence, but one that draws Zelda’s attention away from a scathing piece in the Safe Zone Siren on her computer display. Whoever knows doesn't have an appointment and also doesn't wait for a greeting.

Instead, Kam Nisatta shows herself in with an open-mouthed smile and a raise of her brows. “Ms. Falkenrath, I got your email about the recent conversation you had with Agent Ayers.” So she came… downstairs. To discuss the email. In person.

No pressure.

It’s another day that most ordinary people would consider boring — but Zelda isn’t quite ordinary, finding solace in long columns of text that would make most people lose it. The tablet on her desk contains one such document, and she has been skimming it in between glances at that scathing Safe Zone Siren article. That Quentin fellow is angry.

Brown eyes aren’t really on the words, though — she’s instead staring down the little bobbing figurine, mind wandering. She’s gotten used to the video game jokes over the years — after all, she’s had her entire life to do so. So really, the figurine is a pleasant little in-joke, which is exactly why it’s prominently displayed on her desk. She doesn’t mind being the princess.

The knock startles her back out of her thoughts, and the person who enters shortly after said knock…while Zelda manages to keep herself mostly composed, she can’t help but widen her eyes slightly, the wheels of her chair clicking on the ground as she suddenly raises to her feet, offering an awkward bow to the woman.

“Ah, I wasn’t expecting you,” she starts in her soft East-of-London accent, cheeks coloring slightly. She gestures to her setup — an electric water kettle, a few mugs, and a few tins, along with a sugar jar. “Would, ah, would you like some tea? I have white, green, black, and oolong.”

She manages to keep herself from turning into a bumbling idiot, though only just barely. “What would you like to discuss?” Hopefully the outreach program, which she is more than prepared to discuss — though she had not been counting on discussing such ideas in person, certainly.

Less formally, Kam slips over to Zelda’s desk and sits down on its corner, reaching down to briefly flick the Master Sword in Link’s hand before upturning dark eyes to her. “I'll pass on the tea, this won't take overly long, but I appreciate the offer.”

Opening her notepad, Kam flips to the first page and turns the book around and slides it across the desk toward Zelda. On the page is a single kanji drawn in thick blue ink lines.

Below which is written in a Florida English script: Harvest Matsuri!!

“I would like you to spearhead this project, top priority.” Kam illustratively flips through the handmade notebook that includes hand drawn maps of Yamagato Park, notes in English and Japanese regarding locations of vendors and displays, lists of desired artists and required construction.

“A fall Harvest Matsuri, like the Jidai held in Kyoto.” Kam’s notes have information for a parade, fireworks — in spite of the summer’s fireworks ban — ideas for getting around the fireworks ban given Yamagato Park’s international status, drawings of traditional clothing and food.

“Eizen has wanted to drop the security protocols, and this would be a perfect timing to do it. Maybe we could hit this around the end of October to coincide with Halloween? Open to the entire Safe Zone.” Kam’s brows raise slowly but eagerly.

The look on Zelda’s face is one of surprise more than anything else, though there’s plenty of overwhelming anxiety in there for good measure. She is the most antisocial person she knows — her idea of fun is reading legal documents in the comfort and privacy of her own apartment.

“I…” The willowy woman lifts the pad, skimming the notes and just kind of taking it all in for a moment. She can do it, certainly, she doesn’t doubt that — it’s just that she’s never actually undertaken something like this in the past, and when she suggested it, she was suggesting that someone more socially adept than her do the planning.

After a moment, she blinks the confounded look away, a smile replacing it. “That sounds wonderful,” she replies, nodding. “I’m not entirely familiar with the festivals held in Japan,” she adds, “but I will do my best to be faithful to the original festival.”

At the very least, her perfectionism will ensure that this festival will be true to the original.

“Research, ask,” Kam makes a vague motion with one hand, “most of your coworkers are either from Japan or have visited frequently. I'd recommend putting together a diverse team. Given the short turn-around time on this, you'll want to have orders placed by the first week of October.” Which doesn't exactly give Zelda much time.

“You should be able to 3D print the remainder of what you need, and I've included some discretionary budget limitations on page 12. But otherwise I've received permission from Ms. Nakamura’s office to make this happen regardless of the hurdles. If we have to import something directly from Hokkaido we will.”

Sitting straight, Kam smooths down the front of her skirt and then continues the motion as she stands up. “Anyway, I know this is a bit outside of your wheelhouse but I want to give you an opportunity to shine here. Have a list of your own ideas on my desk by the end of the week, and I'll get you my notes.” Then, grimacing, Kam adds, “This is our reputation here. We need to make this count.”

This is so vastly outside of Zelda’s wheelhouse that it’s not even funny. She has weeks to put together a large festival that should at least in theory turn Yamagato’s reputation around. She remembers reading about the Jidai in her brief studies of culture, and knows that it involves parades and costumes and music at the very least. Then there’s food — that’s a big one she’ll be focusing on, because food is already an issue, so making it readily available for those attending is going to be important.

She takes a deep breath, before bobbing her head in a nod. “I won’t let you down,” she replies, taking another breath as she says that — she can probably do this, somehow, it’s just a daunting prospect, and she already knows that she is going to be in an constant state of oh shit for the next month or so.

A month. She has one month to put on a spectacle intended to save Yamagato’s reputation in the Safe Zone.

After another breath, she smiles that charming smile of hers at Kam. “I suppose that every second spent not planning, at this point, is a second wasted, right?” Only Zelda would dare to subtly tell her boss to go away so she can get to work. “I have a lot of research to do. Is there anything else that I need to know before I start?”

“Just that I have every faith in you.” Kam smiles, reaching out to gently rest a hand on Zelda’s shoulder, surprisingly warm to the touch. She closes her eyes, smiling, and then lifts the hand off of her shoulder. “Assemble a team, and I'll get a press release out in the next few weeks.”

As she turns from Zelda’s desk, Kam adds, “The people have turned to us for support, and it's time we be that while we can.” What she means by that, though, goes unexplored as she shows herself out of the office.

Zelda’s right about one thing, though.

She needs to get to work.

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