Me, Myself, And Identity


leroy_icon.gif marlowe_icon.gif otomo_icon.gif

Also Featuring:

eizen_icon.gif jiba_icon.gif

Scene Title Me, Myself, and Identity
Synopsis Following an after-work game of basketball, Leroy, Marlowe, and Hachiro experience the unimaginable.
Date January 10, 2020

Sometimes, when the world seems strangest, life keeps on moving apace in flagrant disregard of current events. Or perhaps, ignorant of them.

There’s a soft whir-click-whir rhythm interspersed between the rubbery impact of a basketball against a court. The sound echoes with the squeak of shoes, a mechanical hum, and the deep breaths of exertion. Covered in a thin sheen of sweat, Hachiro Otomo hops up off of both feet and lobs a basketball overhanded for a three-point shot. The ball soars through the air, strikes the rim and circles it twice, then rolls off the side and hits the court floor, bouncing several times before rolling away.

Hah, okay, well— so much for cyborgs being better at sports,” Hachiro says with a breathy exhale, hunching forward and clasping his hands around the smooth synthetic material of a prosthetic leg. With a press of his thumb he opens a small maintenance panel on the side, listening to the delicate movements of thousands of tiny parts inside the housing for synthetic muscles. Hachiro smiles, looking up to two people at the sideline of the court.

“So much for my NBA career.”

Yamagato Building, Company Gym

Yamagato Park, NYC Safe Zone

January 10th

7:12 pm

It’s been months since Hachiro Otomo received prosthetic legs to replace the limbs destroyed in the 2018 Yamagato bombing. Now, months of physical therapy later, he has started to push himself with his familiarity. Dressed in his gym clothes, Hachiro saunters over to the sideline of the small one-hoop court, stopping at the bleachers to bend over and pick up a towel and a water bottle. “The new neuro-sync software patch got rid of the jitters,” Hachiro says with a smile. “Thanks Leroy.”

"Hey, it's not every day that I get to test high end cybernetic firmware… well, it kind of is but you get my point." Leroy shrugs, then laughs, staring over at the basketball court as he stays firmly planted in his seat on the bleachers. He has a laptop with the outer casing of an old blue clamshell iBook, with the screen and internals greatly modified and random electronic modifications sticking out of random parts of it.

"We could possibly make you better at sports, but…" He looks down at the leg, then up to Hachiro. "I don't think you'd want those modifications."

Before the ball gets too far, Marlowe catches up to it with a jogging pace and scoops up the ball. A quick pivot on her feet, she turns, sends the ball back up to graze the backboard and through the ring-and-net. The current director of technology finds the basketball after the score and tucks it against her hip.

"Please," she says with a wry smile to the pair of men, "you have to leave some room for the rest of us 'organics' to entertain our pride and athleticism." Two things Marlowe takes seriously, at that. She reaches up a hand to make sure her multi-colored, braided hair remains currently in place within the high bun on her head. The Yamagato-branded workout clothes might look plain in comparison, but she makes it work.

She sends glances down to the inorganic portion of Hachiro. "How're the anchor points feeling? No more of that weird shock after the added absorption gel compartments?"

“No more gel oozing out at inopportune moments, either,” Hachiro admits, rapping his knuckles on the prosthetic before standing up straight, wiping sweat away from his face with the towel. “Honestly, this has been a bit of a miracle. I know Ms. Nakamura was anxious about testing the prototype out on me, but I think with some streamlining for mass production, these are ready for the broader market.” He says, draping the towel over his shoulder.

“Which, I suppose brings me to another topic entirely…” Hachiro takes a swig from his water bottle as he collects his thoughts, screwing on the cap as he looks between Marlowe and Leeroy. “I’ve talked it over with Ms. Nakamura, and… I don’t know if I’ll be returning to my previous role when my medical leave is up next month. I know I’ve still been in the office, but… I never had the time to really commit to my projects while trying to shepherd an entire department. I told Ms. Nakamura yesterday that I’m going to officially step down, which— makes my seat your until you won’t have it anymore, Marlowe.”

Hachiro smiles, earnestly, though there’s a tinge of bittersweetness that comes with it. “I know Ms. Nakamura wants to do some departmental restructuring ahead of Q2 of 2020, there’s some new technology initiatives she and I talked about and— I mean I won’t be a stranger, I’ll just be more hands-on rather than administrative. I’ll be honest, it’s where I’m happiest anyway. My life flashing before my eyes helped me see that.”

"That seems fair. If you're more free then you can call us to help with personal projects! Or, at least me." Leroy looks to Marlowe, not wanting to speak for her of course. "Also congratulations on the promotion." He continues to type away at his laptop, then tilts his head. "I wonder if we could find an old iMac for me to mod. Maybe an orange one." he idly considers.

"So where do we all go from here? What's the big 2020 plan?" he has to ask next, looking between them both now. "I'm still working hard on A.I security and measures to keep up with technopaths, but they keep breaking into my things as if to prove a point."

Nodding, Marlowe looks down to the prototype YX Calceus and watches its movements up close, the mechanical parts ever a concern, and the words 'mass production' and 'broader market' bringing a host of new problems for an engineering mind to anticipate. The topic shifts, though, and her gaze lifts back up to Hachiro. His next words stun her. Her eyes widens in surprise.

"Has it already been that long?" she abruptly covers, though her slight breathlessness is telling. Try as she wants to avoid it, there's a touch of wetness that springs to her eyes which she masks by reaching for a second towel to dab away sweat and tears. Leroy's idle thoughts and questions give her time to compose herself. Turning to Hachiro first she forms up and bows to him, respect filling her tone. "It is a great honor. I will do everything possible to fulfill the duties of the role." When she straightens, she exhales heavily before letting out a more nervous sounding chuckle. "But. You better be sticking around for a while yet, Otomo-sensei. Not everybody knows the ins-and-outs of this place as well as you and Jiba. And as far as I know, the storyline of Katana Blossom has not yet been fully resolved."

As for Leroy's wonderings, Marlowe offers a verbal nudge. "The Praxis hack proves we have yet a ways to go for cybersecurity. The GhostNet works, but are we keeping up with the competition's offerings? We also must look out for new innovations and ways to extend our partnerships with the companies of the Safe Zone and beyond it, like RayTech Industries. Finalized infrastructure layouts for Roosevelt Island too, but that's just one of many projects ahead. And, I imagine, we'll be looking more closely at Washington and the rebuilding efforts there." She looks between the two men again with a slow inhale upon realizing how much there is yet to do once it's laid out.

Hachiro smiles and shakes his head. “No, no, I'm not going anywhere any time soon. I've given life and limb to the Safe Zone. I intend to stay here and see it through as long as Ms. Nakamura continues to entertain me.” With a look between Leeroy and Marlowe, Hachiro step's forward and claps a hand on each of their shoulders. “Besides, I need to keep you two out of trouble.”

Letting his hands slip away, Hachiro claps them together. “Ms. Nakamura wants to focus on cybernetic prosthetics for ordinary civilians, expand our commercial robot line and the Tetsujin labor robot model. And, you know, if there's any more time maybe I'll finish work on Katana Blossom 4 with the interactive division.”

Hachiro turns, about to start leading the conversation out of the gymnasium but stops when he realizes the three aren't alone. Marlowe and Leroy both see Hachiro step aside to reveal someone who was standing in his silhouette no further than an arm’s reach away. It's a child, no older than twelve or perhaps thirteen, pale skin and coppery-auburn hair, barefoot and wearing a midnight blue dress with some tatters on the hem and sleeves. Her irises are vibrant and gold, like Marlowe’s when she uses her ability.


“H-Hello,” Hachiro says, immediately remembering when a woman teleported onto the stage he was presenting on and dropped a backpack bomb at his feet. His breath hitches in the back of his throat, lips parting to say something, but the gold-eyed girl looks up at him and shakes her head, then past him to Leroy.

Leroy looks up from his laptop, then sets it aside. He leans in, not particularly great with kids. Does this even count as a kid? He's not particularly sure on the cutoff. "We've got plenty to do, but we can't do it all at once. That's what compartmentalizing is for. At the end of the day, the future of cybersecurity is A.I and more out of the box network structures. Just try to enjoy yourself and we'll make a futuristic utopia. Well, if the government doesn't fuck it all up."

He reaches out to offer his hand to the girl, trying to smile. It's a bit of an awkward task. He's just used to existing and the smiling part of these situations always feels a bit forced. "Hey. Where are your parents? Or are you some kind of new prodigy with a cool ability working here?"

Marlowe lifts her own hand to cover Hachiro's, relieved and nodding to his reassurances that he's staying. She lets go as he does and for the moment looks bolstered, also starting to turn aside for the exit when the young girl appears. Marlowe startles with a shift of her weight to her heels, but upon catching the golden colored irises, holds fast.

Leroy beats her to the punch with the questions, although Marlowe's aren't of the same nature. Even if his line of questioning seems… odd. Briefly she casts a glance over to Hachiro, then taps his arm in a return of reassurances before she steps forward approaching the newcomer. "Konnichiwa, ojou-chan. Tedasuke o hitsuyou to shiteimasu ka?" She offers her aid in Japanese as well, making an assumption of most employees and their families working within the building being familiar. Her eyes travel over the girl's appearance, taking in the skin, hair, dress. The distressed hems and sleeves of the dress draw the woman's focus first, but eventually it returns to the ever vibrant golden eyes. "Is everything okay? What happened to your dress?" she asks gently.

For all that the girl was transfixed on Leroy, Marlowe earns a blink of a look and that gold-eyed stare in silence. Her expression softens for a moment, blinking as the gold in those eyes flickers ever so subtly. Her brows furrow, and she looks down to her dress and only now seems to notice that the hem is tattered and her feet are not just bare, but a little dirty as well. When she looks back up to Marlowe, there is a childlike innocence of someone far younger than the girl standing in front of her.

But then, a moment later, her expression flattens to something more neutral and she looks past Marlowe to Leroy. “Zi dingir anna kanpa,” she says to Leroy, those gold eyes flowing with a seething radiance. Hachiro looks back after catching a glow in his peripheral vision as Leroy’s veins catch fire. Hachiro screams as he watches a seething aura of multicolored light burn within Leroy’s veins, flaring out of his eyes and mouth like plasmic gas, crackling with fractal patterns not seen in gasses in nature.

When Marlowe’s attention is drawn to Leroy’s sudden combustion, the girl vanishes from her peripheral vision as if she were never there at all. Leroy, in spite of being consumed by an energized plasma in his veins, seems both unaware of his predicament and unharmed by the light as it swells up through his body and then is expelled like a corona around his silhouette. Hachiro reaches out to take Leroy’s shoulder, and there is an electric snap that knocks Hachiro off of his feet and sends him sliding across the floor.

In the same moment, Leroy’s legs give out, eyes roll back in his head and he collapses to the floor of the gym.

Marlowe had started to lift her hand, the beginnings of an offer to help fix the dress on her mind. But then when the golden-eyed girl shifts in expression and utters the strange incantation, she drops her hand back, hesitating. “What was that?” Marlowe queries, expression confused.

And then, Leroy is on cosmic fire.

Accompanying Hachiro’s scream is Marlowe’s outcry of surprise, the woman spinning and shielding her eyes at the dazzling fiery plasmatic colors. When she sees Hachiro reaching out to Leroy, she yelps a warning, “Wait!” Too late. She can’t save him yet again. She can only watch in split seconds of horror as Hachiro is blasted back. Marlowe flinches, curling in by protective, trained reflex to a self-defensive stance.

And then, Leroy is collapsed on the gymnasium floor. Along with Hachiro.

“Leroy? Leroy, are you okay? Hachiro!” Marlowe calls to her colleagues after a few seconds to regain her breath, to recover from the phenomenon. She practically sprints back over to Hachiro’s prone form and reaches down to turn him on his back. “Hachiro? Otomo-sensei, okite! Daijoubu desu ka?!” Triage training pulls the strings of her actions as she takes note of vitals first.

The groan that comes from Hachiro says he’s alright. He rolls onto his side, one hand on his head as he looks back to where the girl was, only to find her gone. “I’m fine,” Hachiro groans, sitting up and noticing that Leroy isn’t moving. Getting his prosthetic feet under himself with a hand on Marlowe’s shoulder for support Hachiro slowly stands up, wobbling as he walks over to close the distance between himself and Leroy. “Hey, boy, Leroy!” Hachiro kneels down by Leroy’s side, wary of touching him after what had just happened.

Leroy’s eyes are open, unblinking, glassy as he stares up at the ceiling. Hachiro paws at his pockets for his phone, then thinks to call into the air, “Jiba! We have a medical emergency in the gym. Send a medical team!”

Out of thin air, Jiba’s holographic concentric-circle avatar manifests from a swirl of photoreactive gasses. {Affirmative Hachiro, a medical emergency is noted. A response team is on its way.}

Leroy!” Hachiro shouts again, but Leroy says nothing. Does nothing beyond taking shallow breaths.

But it’s not for lack of trying.

Leroy can hear Hachiro and Marlowe, but he’s just staring up at the ceiling and unable to move. What’s most distressing about all of this is that he can also feel himself from outside of his body. He knows where Hachiro and Marlowe are, roughly, even though he can’t see them. It’s a strange sense of duality.

Hachiro looks Leroy over, sees the faint haze of smoke rising off of the younger man’s body. He also notices that Leroy was blown clear out of one of his shoes, one foot just covered in a white cotton sock that Leroy really should have run through the laundry given how gray the bottom of it is. The shoe is about a foot away, sitting upright where Leroy was, smoke wafting out of it.

Leroy begins to blink at first, then starts to move a finger, then an arm, and soon he's slowly pushing himself up until he's hunched over. The weight of his upper body is rested on his arms, which drape over his thighs. "Hachiro, I don't feel so good…"

Marlowe's relief is palpable in the release of her grip on Hachiro. It's not long lasting, though, given that once she's helped the man up to his prosthetic feet, she looks over to where Leroy's lies still. She falls in step right behind Hachiro, dropping to a kneel on the other side of Leroy as Hachiro tries to rouse the younger man.

After Jiba confirms the medical team call, Marlowe adds, "Jiba, there was a girl here just now. Young teen, pale skin, red hair, dark blue dress and bare foot. SLC-Expressive, ability unknown, possibly teleportation…" She glances down to Leroy again, to the smoke lifting off his body. "With unknown physical side effects. Please relay to the Emergency Response Units." She tries to remain calm, providing the info for the benefit of the incoming paramedics and the company's security.

"She did something. Said something," Marlowe notes, quieter, to Hachiro and Jiba both.

Meanwhile, once Leroy starts to show signs of physical movement, Marlowe reaches a hand over to steady him, too. "The med team's on their way, Leroy," she reassures him in a tone that's as much for herself as he.

Marlowe are you mistaken? Jiba’s voice asks from everywhere and nowhere at once. Security footage has no record of such a person in this chamber. I did not detect ambient temperature increase that would indicate an unseen life form. Nor did motion sensors pick up a presence.

Hachiro looks up from Leroy to Marlowe, eyes wide, then looks around the gymnasium with an expression of both dread and uncertainty. “I saw the same thing,” Hachiro clarifies, to which Jiba makes a digital squawk of discomfort in that contradictory data to its own senses.

To Leroy, this conversation is increasingly confounding. He can hear Marlowe, Jiba, and Hachiro all speaking. But at the same time he feels detached from his body, disconnected in a way that people might describe an out of body experience, except that it

appears to be centered on

his shoe.

As dizziness fades, Leroy can feel a sense of uneasy vertigo swimming from the direction of his missing shoe a few feet past where he lays. It's like the shoe is the center of his gravity, like everything inside of him is pulling gently toward it. It's a sense of non-visual perspective and disorientation, as though somehow his shoe was the vanishing point of the horizon.

Leroy slowly stands, groaning from the disorienting feeling. "Something's wrong with me…"

He heads over to the shoe, as if it might explain things, then reaches down to start trying to put it on. "I can't explain, just… Everything feels wrong. Did I get brain damaged? Jiba, scan for brain damage!"

Marlowe looks up to the middle airspace as Jiba questions her report, briefly as confused as Leroy might be for mere moments. But that confusion turns to Hachiro, her expression warps to a mixed grimace, an uneasy smile. "Well, then, send a copy of the security data from the past hour in the gymnasium to my device," she replies calmly. A little too calmly, because her insides are anything but.

As Leroy starts to stand, her attention returns to the man as he starts for the shoe. She falls in step alongside him and reaches out a steadying hand to prevent him from doing too much bending over. "You need to sit down, Leroy. EMTs are on their way. Come on, back to the bleachers. Don't worry about the shoe."

Marlowe shoots Hachiro a quick look again, also uncertain. But for the moment, she lightly jerks her head in indication for him to help monitor Leroy.

There’s a soft static electric crackle when Leroy puts the shoe back on, a crackle that everyone can hear but only he can feel as it travels up his hand and through his spine and ends in a blossom of light in the middle of his field of vision. In an instant the disorientation comes to an end, the sense of vertigo and displacement snaps into a perfectly clear focus like a camera that was out of alignment was knocked back into place.

Security has been informed. Mr. Erizawa is en-route and the building has entered lockdown mode.

In that same moment a chime floods the air from the ceiling-mounted speakers followed by an automated announcement. «Attention Yamagato Industries Employees, we are experiencing a security event. Please shelter in place and follow the instructions of security personnel.»

Hachiro still looks shaken by all of this as he comes to Marlowe’s side and lays a hand on her shoulder, even as they carefully watch Leroy. “What happened?” Hachiro asks aloud, looking from Marlowe to Leroy and back again. “What was that?”

Holding his forehead, Leroy suddenly looks between Marlowe and Hachiro. "I suddenly feel a lot better… I don't know what that was." He looks down at his hand, uncomfortably shaking it. "It feels like my own vision just shocked it's way up my arm or something. How do I even explain that with words?"

He takes a deep breath, trying to calm his generally high-strung nature. "I feel okay but something's wrong with me, something happened…"

Reaching up, he feels around his face. "Do I look okay?"

Marlowe shakes her head in hopes of clearing away the confusion she has over the situation, but this is an uncharted area nowhere near her expertise. Her gaze lifts into the photoreactive air at the announcement. It’s meant to calm employees, but she can’t help but wonder, given the attacks from the year before. Was this another? And yet.

“Honestly, Leroy, I don’t know what the hell just happened.” Her reply carries the frustration and worry underneath a thin veneer of calm. Having seen what happened to Hachiro, Marlowe doesn’t attempt to keep contact with Leroy for too long. She glances from Hachiro back to the ‘victim’ of the strange ‘assault’. “But,” she says almost at a conspiratorial volume, “Can we all agree that we saw her? The girl with gold eyes in the blue dress?”

“I… I don’t know what I saw,” is Hachiro’s shaky response, “but— yes. It looked like a girl. Maybe… an Expressive using some sort of… some sort of telepathic projection? A machine wouldn’t pick that up but,” suddenly concern returns as Hachiro steps over to Leroy, resting a hand on his shoulder. “We should get you down to medical,” he says with certainty in his voice, “that might have been some sort of… Scanners kind of thing, right?”

Hachiro looks back to Marlowe, then over to Leroy. “But look at it this way, no head exploding.” He moves his hand over to clap onto the top of Leroy’s head. “Strong brains in there, holding it all together.” He tries to laugh, but it comes off a little insincere. The comedy masks Hachiro’s nervousness, his tension, the post-traumatic stress of the last time something like that happened and he lost his legs.

At least for now, they were all okay.

Two Hours Later

Yamagato Medical, Yamagato Building

In the time since the incident, the Yamagato Building had come under lockdown. Security forces swarmed into the building to begin a room-by-room sweep of the structure to ensure that no one else was present that shouldn’t be. Down in the medical offices, Hachiro, Marlowe, and Leroy were all subjected to neurological screenings to be certain none of them had suffered any damage from the incident, while reiterating their experiences to a member of corporate security, with no sign of Eizen anywhere. It was only later that they would find out that he was at the Fellowship building with Kimiko when the lockdown began.

But two hours later, the trio had been kept in isolation in a waiting room. Security posted outside seemed to be there to keep them safe, but the atmosphere of the situation feels tense in an inwardly directed sense. Hachiro paces the floor of the waiting area, occasionally spying a look at the guards outside through the glass doors. “Jiba,” he asks the air, “when will the lockdown be lifted?” He should be concerned with the results of their electromyography screening and MRI scans, the latter of which Hachiro was exempted from due to his implants.

Hello Hachiro)), Jiba’s voice chimes in from the ceiling. {{The lockdown concluded 22 minutes and 16 seconds ago.

Hachiro’s brows knit together, dark eyes flicking from the ceiling to Marlowe and Leroy. “Then why are we being— ” Hachiro doesn’t finish his sentence, because through the doors he can see someone speaking with the guards as they unlock the door.

Security chief Eizen.

"Don't tell me we have some kind of viral infection, or some other horrible thing. That's the only reason we'd be in lockdown longer than everyone else, right?" Leroy asks as he looks between Marlowe and Hachiro.

When Eizen enters, he just motions to the man. "Okay, tell us how bad it is. Are we stuck here for a week, a year, forever?"

The past two hours have been trying and worrisome. Marlowe hasn't spoken much except to give her account of what she perceived, to confirm that she isn't in any pain or otherwise in ill health, to inquire on any updates from the security sweep, and finally to just give small, faintly comforting noises and reassurances to the two men stuck with her in a waiting room.

She's let her hair down since. It doesn't mean her mind hasn't been working hard. Marlowe glances up when Hachiro pauses in his paces to query Jiba, and her brows furrow together. "22 minutes and nobody else has been brought in to wait," she says in quiet observation. And 20-some odd seconds later, she stands from her chair when they spot Eizen. When the security chief is within their midst, she holds back her questions. No doubt, she has many. But Leroy's first thoughts put a wrinkle to her own line of thought.

"Leroy, don't be ridiculous," mutters Marlowe. She comes to stand beside Hachiro, arms folding across her chest. "Everybody's okay out there? Nobody hurt?" she asks the security chief instead, her concern sneaking out in her tone.

“Everyone out there is fine,” Eizen says, which is an ominous specification. “Jiba and I have been over the security records top to bottom, we can’t find any evidence of intrusion.” Hachiro all but bolts up into a standing position at that.

“I’m not crazy, I know what we saw,” he says in protest, but Eizen slowly raises a hand and shakes his head.

“No I— I know, Hachiro. That’s why…” Eizen exhales a deep sigh, then threads an errant lock of dark hair behind one ear. “Something happened in the gymnasium, but we can’t be certain what. What we do know, is that you and Marlowe,” he motions from Hachiro to her, “are healthy and unchanged, as far as we can tell.”

Unchanged is a word that Eizen uses that carries unsettling conotations.

“What… we still don’t have an answer to yet, are the results of Leroy’s test.” Eizen then turns to the computer engineer. “Initially we thought nothing had happened, but then Ms. Nakamura suggested we run a round of basic blood screening for anything anomalous and…” Grimacing, Eizen doesn’t look like he knows how to break whatever news is coming.

Hachiro looks to Marlowe, then Leroy, then back to Eizen. “Out with it.”

“Leroy, you’re testing positive for the Suresh Linkage Complex,” Eizen says with a shake of his head. “We ran the blood tests five times in two different labs. You were confirmed negative on modern tests on two occasions, the margin for error there is less than one percent. But you’re displaying as Expressive now. Which… might account for the sensory experiences you had in the initial… phenomenon. We don’t know how this is possible, though.”

Now Hachiro is silent, a dawning look of wonder and horror shifting across his face. He searches Marlowe for answers, hope, something and then looks down to the floor in disbelief.

"But what does that even mean?" Leroy asks, obviously knowing what it means, but not really knowing what it means. "I got dizzy, or something. My brain was off. What kind of ability is that? What exactly is wrong with me?" He holds his head, crouching over as he obviously starts to freak out a bit. He's not known for keeping his cool under stress and a lack of planning, Leroy Jackson is a very orderly person, despite how chaotic his work and living areas might be.

He prefers things work how they're supposed to, and function in the day to day as intended. The cyber security aspect of his work is all about imposing order onto the internet.

"Oh god…" He starts to open and close his hands very quickly, staring down into them. "Just get rid of it, for all I know it could make me dumb, or cripple me, I can't risk it!"

"Unchanged?" Marlowe tries hard not to frown at the uncomfortable tone Eizen's taken on, resulting in something of a pouting look. Especially when he reveals Kimiko had 'suggested' the blood tests. All she can do is keep from stiffening up in shock at what Eizen says to Leroy's test results. Her mouth parts, she takes in a breath, but cognizance trips over the bump of fear and she stammers, "That's impossible."

At least he didn't lead with "I hope you're sitting down." Marlowe does so anyway, folding on to the seat behind her with a thump. When Leroy starts to freak out, though, she straightens in her seat and glances to the windows looking for any medical teams waiting nearby in case of further emergency. Leroy's questions tick her attention back to him and Eizen and Hachiro.

"There's also an unknown variable. Whatever that girl did," she presses with a look upon the security chief. "She spoke to him. Just before things went crazy." Her head shakes slowly, the engineer mutters, "I don't know what she said but I just remember her gold eyes. And the blue dress." Marlowe shrugs helplessly.

“Gold eyes,” Eizen echoes back in a murmur, briefly looking to the floor before his attention settles back on the more pressing concern at the moment: Leroy.

“Calm down, Jackson,” Eizen says with a slow motion to Leroy. “The CT scan showed no brain damage or sign of cerebral trauma. If anything your…” he stumbles around the medical terms he was given, “occipital lobe was showing heightened activity along with increased sensitivity in the electromagnetic spectrum and near constant activity in your posterior parietal cortex. I don't… precisely know what all that means, admittedly. But they didn't say it was bad.”

Hachiro, however, does know. “Vision and spatial awareness processing,” he quietly explains. “Your disorientation might be related to some sort of… heightened awareness or… vision-based power. Maybe some form of extra-sensory perception.” Hachiro sighs, smoothing his hands along his pants nervously.

“Ms. Nakamura has already informed me that you’ll be given full medical attention and whatever support you need,” Eizen explains. “We’ll need to keep you on a daily observation, at least while we’re working through what it is you can do. But that's for your own protection, obviously.”

Hachiro angles a look to Marlowe, then squares his attention on Leroy. “We’re all here for you,” he affirms. “Whatever, however this happened,” Hachiro says with an undercurrent of promise in solving that mystery, “we’re here.”

Where here is an uncharted territory of the first degree.

Where the world can transform in an instant.

Forever changed.

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