My Friend


hunter_icon.gif kaylee6_icon.gif weiss_icon.gif

Scene Title My Friend
Synopsis When you plan to kill a god, the enemy of my enemy is…
Date May 5, 2021

It’s been a long week.

From the window of her Yamagato Lapis, Kaylee Ray views the streets through tinted glass. The neon-lit landscape of Yamagato Park is dulled behind that partition, but the significance of this night isn’t. In spite of the thick smoke choking the sky from the Ohio River Fire there are people out on the streets, enjoying the warmer—if wetter—weather.

It’s the first time Kaylee’s set foot out of Raytech’s grounds since returning from Massachusetts with her mother. A night spent in Egremont, a day drive back to get her set up at the Raytech campus, only for Kaylee to find an unexpected email waiting for her upon her return.

The Grand Ryokan looks like a pillar candle in the distance. The well-lit exterior of this brick and wood hotel blooms in the smoke haze. The golden lights outside cast long, dark shadows, ones that remind Kaylee of how uncertain her past is in light of recent revelations. The hotel’s bellhop wears a respirator mask and opens her door with a muffled, “Welcome to the Grand Ryokan.”

As Kaylee slides out of the car she can smell the acrid stink of smoke in the air, feel the oily quality of the rain in the mist, even as the valet opens an umbrella to shield Kaylee from the worst of it. He turns, gesturing toward the Hotel, and then leads her toward her rendezvous.

Grand Ryokan Hotel
Yamagato Park

May 5th
6:19 pm

Far beyond the lobby, beyond the glass walls partitioning the communal indoor baths surrounded by lush trees and abundant foliage, there is a VIP lounge. Escorted by an employee of the hotel, Kaylee is led to the black lacquered double doors at the end of the hall where music pulses out from beyond. The gold-leaf trimmed windows turn everyone on the other side into silhouettes and drowns out any internal noise to little more than a muffled whisper.

The music rises in volume as Kaylee steps into the dimly lit lounge on the other side of the doors. The bar is untended and a man in a sleek black suit with his hands folded in front of himself carefully watches Kaylee enter. Two more men on the other side of the room sit at round tables, jackets unbuttoned, straps from underarm holsters visible. Their suits are kevlar weave with carbon nanofiber reinforcement. Cutting edge.

Past the tables there are four circular booth seats nested together like honeycombs. Kaylee sees who he’s waiting for seated at one of the red upholstered booths bathed in purple and blue neon light. She’s blonde, severe-looking, pale eyes and hair. Dressed in the same lethal corporate chic as her bodyguards. Her eyes have a predatory, steely quality. Cecilia Weiss sits forward and picks up a long-stemmed martini glass in one hand, watching Kaylee’s entrance.

“Hold on there friend.” Kaylee is drawn away from the blonde by the voice of a square-jawed slick-smiled man that interposes himself between them. He flashes Kaylee a predatory smile and makes an arms out gesture, prepared to pat Kaylee down for a gun or a knife.

Hunter.” The blonde at the table beckons. Hunter turns around, squaring a look at Cecilia. She rolls her eyes, unimpressed, and waves him off. Hunter gives Kaylee a look, then a once over up and down, and clicks his tongue before stalking off.

Cecilia Weiss motions for Kaylee to join her in the booth, lifting up her neon pink martini in greeting.

Kaylee can’t help but give Hunter an amused look, as she’s very much prepared to allow the man to do his job, offering only a subtle lift of her brow in challenge to his demand. Watching him move away, she gives a soft amused sound, “I’m sure he and my security chief could swap some stories.” Turning back to the table she offers Weiss a smile, even as she sizes up the daughter of Volken.

Now that Kaylee wasn’t regularly pimping for Raytech, it wasn’t often that she dressed up in her business attire. However, for this meeting, this first impression felt important. That in mind, she wore her Raytech red power suit - which might be fitting a bit tighter through the hips - with a discreet black lace top and strappy designer heels.

“I'm glad we could meet before you left, Ms. Weiss,” Kaylee offers genuinely, gracefully sliding into the booth opposite of the other woman, clutch set down beside her. “My brother had good things to say about you, which is why I asked for this meeting.”

Weiss gives Hunter a silent look and he dismisses himself to far enough away to still be within earshot, but not obstructively so. But there’s a level of attention that he’s giving Kaylee that borders on leering, like he’s trying to really make heads or tails of her. Weiss doesn’t seem to either notice or mind.

But in like kind, Kaylee notices small and fascinating details about Cecilia Weiss up close. The skin around her mouth and lower neck doesn’t quite match a natural texture. It’s a very good approximation, but there’s a subtle uncanny quality to it, and a very faint seam that runs over the bridge of her nose and down her cheeks. It’s some kind of prosthetic. Kaylee had read that Cecilia Weiss was in some kind of car accident when she was younger, but this looks like more than mere cosmetic surgery.

“Richard is shrewd,” Weiss agrees, and her voice has the faintest hint of electronic synthesis; a little digital crunch behind it. Weiss reclines back against the red upholstery of the booth. “But he was less inclined to talk about business, admittedly. I do wonder how far your respective apples fall from the tree in that regard,” Weiss notes with a smirk before taking a sip of her drink. “Go on, make good use of my time.”

A wicked little smile plays on her lips, as she seemingly mimics the other woman, leaning back and crossing long legs. “Shrewd may be an understatement, especially since he was always my father’s cat's paw.” Then again, she may be a bit biased, too.

“Business, tho?” Kaylee’s brows flicker up with amusement and her head gives a shake. “I believe what you told my brother was that we share a common enemy. Mazdak.” The name is said like it left an unpleasant taste in her mouth to speak it outloud.

A shoulder lifts a little, as Kaylee admits, “So I guess you could say that the apple doesn’t fall far.” But then her head wobbles a bit as she considers that. “Though your nanotech is quite impressive and it has crossed my mind - and no doubt my brothers - how much our companies could benefit each other in making this world a little less of a shit hole than it is. Raytech is… after all… in the world saving business, since we have much to atone for. Sins of the father and all that. But that is talk for another day,” if they get that chance, “for now… Let’s talk about what we want..”

Blue eyes study Weiss, as if trying to figure the other woman out. “Mainly, we both want Mazdak for what they had no rights to. Your tech and my… father, among other things of import.”

“Sins of the father,” Weiss says, swirling her glass around with a distant look in her eyes. She glances over to Hunter, then back to Kaylee. “Mazdak has a number of things that don’t belong to them, but you’re right, those are chief among our concerns.”

Setting down her drink, Weiss leans forward and folds her hands on the table. “I already told Richard what I know about Mazdak, their operations, their assets. They’ve made a very personal mistake in misappropriating my company’s resources and finances to pilot their own little sweat-shop experiments. But there’s something more than Mazdak that I have my eyes on, and that’s the so-called God they worship. I don’t just want to stop them, I want to crush everything they believe in under my heel and grind the life out of it.

“I see why Richard likes you,” Kaylee says with a quiet laugh of delight. Clearly, she approves.

But then the smile fades as Kaylee considers her next words carefully, letting silence reign for a noticeable moment. “Would it surprise you to know that I have met this god of theirs? Stood toe to toe with her and managed to survive.” Barely… Though technically it wasn’t her.

Leaning forward to leaning on an arm, Kaylee says softly, “So you could say that we have a similar goal, Ms. Weiss. However, going up against something that is… and isn’t in our timeline won’t be easy.” Hunter gets a glance out of the side of her eye, but doesn’t linger. “Others have tried, the Company for one, Adam for another… I’ve seen post-cog visions of events. What makes you think you can win this time? Please, tell me you have some ace in the hole.”

“Technology.” Weiss says succinctly. “Based on my sources, the last time that thing was truly shown the business it was in the mid 1980s.” Which means Cecilia Weiss has access to information from the Redaction. “When Monroe tried to corner it last year, he did so with technology and might have succeeded, but he took a very direct approach.”

Weiss glances briefly at Hunter, then back to Kaylee. “My company develops non-chemical, injectionless negation technology. I know it may seem like a taboo topic here in the states, and I certainly recognize my persona non-grata status because of that. But for every misapplication of technology there’s a proper utilization. It it’s the hardware that’s to blame, it’s the people using it.”

“Amen to that,” Kaylee agrees wholeheartedly, though she is clearly leary.

Lifting one finger, Weiss motions to Hunter, who comes over to the table and takes a bracelet out of his pocket about the size of a cuff bangle. He sets it down on the table and steps away without a word. Weiss picks the bracelet up and then hands it over to Kaylee.

“This is a cobalt expression restraint. It’s a low-end Expressive inhibitor,” Weiss explains. “Our scientists discovered that cobalt, as an ore, inhibits the electromagnetic field generated by all expressives. By manipulating that electromagnetic field you can influence the utilization of Expressive abilities. This cuff, when powered and worn, prevents most Expressives from being able to use their ability if it is not persistently active.”

Weiss shrugs. “That wouldn’t be sufficient for our target, based on expectations of skill and strength. But we have a variety of different devices, including cobalt nanite injection systems and subdermal implants. I’m not saying that Adam Monroe had the right idea, but he was taking the right direction.”

The bangle is taken with the same reverence Kaylee would use with a loaded weapon. What she was holding was quite the breakthrough. Brows lift as she turns it over in her hands. “Cobalt? Really?” Kaylee was curious by nature and did not hide her open fascination with what Cecilia had handed her. “There are people who would give anything for something like this. That’s a hell of a find, most of us have to worry about cancer from what the government used on us.” Cobalt in that form, seemed harmless. Offering the bangle back, she shakes her head, “I know mine was consistently on, but I would have loved something that would give me a moment's peace or let me mingle in large crowds, without taking something that could give me cancer.”

Telepathy was great, but it had its drawbacks.

“But you’re right that wouldn’t be enough and, honestly, I’m not even sure the injection or whatnot would be enough. My research shows she may not be affected by things like when we have a solar eclipse.” It could also all be thousand year old propaganda, “But then they don’t call her the mother of all expressives for nothing.” Kaylee looks between both. “I’ve seen her at work, she lifted a sub out of the water and crushed it like a paper cup… and in her next breath tried to kill me and others with a nuclear explosion. All the while in the body of a girl whose mind was a giant black hole to psychic abilities and should have devoured the entity completely.”

In other words, they needed more.

“Though it sounds like you have more information than we have,” Kaylee notes coming back around to the comment about the 80’s. “Not a lot of people know about what happened with the Company when they went up against it. Most have had it completely removed from their memories. I only know, because I saw it through the eyes of a post-cog, which is always limited.”

“The information fell into my lap,” Weiss says carefully, looking down to her drink. “But you’re right,” she changes the topic briskly, “a bracelet or an injection won’t suffice. I think we can learn from what Monroe was trying to do in Detroit with the fence and steer away from a biological weapon. There’s new materials discovered every day that could be of help to us… which brings me to why I agreed to this meeting.”

Weiss sets her drink aside and leans forward again, hands clasped together in front of her around the bangle. “While cobalt is an efficient material for manipulating the EM fields of SLC-Expressives, I’ve since learned that there was a material deployed in Detroit that has an even more deleterious effect on the entity, the meteoric chromium-cobalt alloy of Takezo Kensei’s sword.”

“Now, I know the sword wielded in Detroit was destroyed.” Weiss says with a spread of her hands. “And from what I gather the pieces of it were taken by your government. However, I have been made aware that Takezo Kensei’s sword was not the only weapon forged from a chromium-cobalt meteorite that had the same anomalous circumstances of its birth. There is an older historic relic…” Weiss says, retrieving an old museum inventory photograph in black and white.

Weiss slides the photograph over to Kaylee. There is wax pencil writing in German on the border and a serial number. The photograph depicts a dagger with a wooden handle and a wavy blade. “I believe this ancient knife is made of the same composite alloy. And if my information is correct, it’s in the possession of the Deveaux Society.”

Slowly sitting back, Weiss raises one brow. “How well do you know Monica Dawson?”

“I know her, but not as… well, as my brother,” Kaylee admits, blandly. Her brother had slept with the woman after all…. Might still be on occasion. Pulling the photo close, she picks it up to get a better look, brows pulling together in curiosity. “But I know her well enough that I can talk to her. If all else fails, I have a friend that works for her who can help me get a meeting.”

Looking up from the photo, Kaylee looks wary. “I don’t think I can get the dagger for you, if that is what you are asking…. but I might be able to get a feel for if she’d work with you on this. See about setting up a meeting?” She wasn’t confident, but she was willing to give it a try.

Setting the picture down Kaylee’s gaze stays on the photo for a long moment longer, as she adds, “Either way, whatever you are planning, I definitely want in… keep in the loop, if possible. This god and I have unfinished business and Mazdak needs to be destroyed for what they’ve done to my family and friends.”

“I do want the dagger,” Weiss confirms, “but I’m less interested in entering into a partnership with the Deveaux Society. I was hoping you might be able to secure the dagger for Raytech, and then you and I could negotiate further details. Of course if you can get your hands on another sample of the chromium-cobalt from the Kensei sword this precludes any needs to bother Ms. Dawson, but this is the only tangible lead I have.”

Weiss leaves the photograph with Kaylee, her point made. “I won’t be in the US after tonight, which of course complicates all of this. Hunter, however, can be made available to liaise between us. I trust him implicitly and you can consider him an extension of my goodwill. So whatever choice you wind up making, you can communicate further through him. I’ve already made sure to forward his contact information to your office.”

Secure it for… Really!?!

That gets Kaylee’s brows ticking up. A small red flag pops up in the back of her mind and with it a slew of questions Kaylee knew she wouldn't get answers too. Instead, she picks up the picture again, this time with both hands.

Her mind is already working out how the fuck she was going to produce a miracle, when Hunter is mentioned, earning him another appraising glance. When she gives Weiss her full attention again, Kaylee breaks into a confident smile, “A tall order, butI’ll see what I can do to help the cause along, Ms. Weiss.”

It wasn't a lie. Kaylee would do her best, but damn if she didn't miss her brother.

“Again, if you need anything, stay in touch with Mr. Hunter.” Weiss says, finishing her drink. “And hopefully, if we can all find a way to work together, we can come up with a plan to save the world with the least amount of casualties possible.”

No casualties would be best, but Kaylee had no delusion that it would be that way. “That would be a nice change,” She says with no confidence, gracefully sliding to her feet now that business was concluded.


Oh. Before I go.” Looking past Hunter, a well manicured hand motions to someone who is obviously there just beyond. An older Middle Eastern man, dressed in a sharp suit, steps forward with a long case and offers it to Hunter at Kaylee’s behest. One bodyguard to another, so that he can check it before giving it to Cecilia.

“A gift for you, Ms. Weiss. From my brother and I… a symbol of good faith you could say and in hope for a new friendship between our companies.” A wicked smile plays over Kaylee’s lips. “As the saying goes, the enemy of my enemy is certainly our friend.” Tilting her head towards it, she adds quietly, “Besides, Richard believed you should have it.”

Hunter gets a friendly wink, before she turns to leave the pair to get on with the rest of their day, Bob trailing after her looking less than pleased. “I’ll be in touch,” she calls over her shoulder.

Opening the case, Cecilia’s eyes track side to side across what is contained within. Without hesitation she reaches inside and lifts the familiar wolf-headed cane from within, cradling it gently in her hands before gently guiding her thumbnail through a small groove on the brow of the wolf’s head. Cecilia exhales a breath she had been holding in all this time, blinking away tears in her eyes as she looks back to Kaylee.

Thank you.” Cecilia says with a tightness in her voice. “Tell your brother as much as well. This is…” She slides her thumb along the release, pulling the head of the cane apart from the length enough to see a gleam of the blade concealed within, then slides it shut again. “It is where it belongs.”

Hunter can’t help but notice something else in the case, tucked into a notch in the molded foam padding. A folded pair of smart glasses and a whisper thin Awasu. He looks at the items, up to Kaylee, then over to Cecilia without saying a word. She notices them as well and remains silent on the matter. If Kaylee wanted to draw significant attention to them, she would have,

Instead, Cecilia places the cane back in the case, calling after Kaylee.

“Don’t be a stranger, Miss Ray.”

A Short Time Later

Executive Suite
Grand Ryokan Hotel

Dim lights create a wealth of shadows in the cream-colored furnishings of one of the Ryokan’s highrise suites. The decor contrasts gently with the natural wood and lush greenery outside on the enclosed greenhouse patio.

Seated in a supple leather lounge chair, Cecilia Weiss unfolds the arms of a pair of matte black smart glasses and slides them on. Then powers up the Awasu that came with them. Immediately, a notification flashes in her peripheral vision.

1 New Message

With a flick of her eyes, Cecilia instructs the glasses to display the message.

Hello, Cecilia Weiss. You can call me T1.


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