Naming The Baby


brynn_icon.gif caspian_icon.gif devi_icon.gif seren_icon.gif

Scene Title Naming the Baby
Synopsis Devi has pulls together the group to unveil their secret project… kind of.
Date April 30, 2019

Raytech Branch Office: Research Labs

The sub-level of the building has been set up to contain the research labs for all of the design work that Raytech does here. The elevator to this floor can only be accessed with a key card, and there's a guarded reception desk. The windows of this floor have been layered to deter microphones listening in, and the exterior row of offices all the way around the floor are simply that — office space for the men and women who do all of the mundane paperwork of writing out research grant requests, letters, research development requests, budgeting, and so on. The DoD liaison has a small private office there, and there are plenty of people dealing with the bureaucratic red tape. It's the center of the building that this floor was engineered to contain. Colored lines on the floor lead to different areas, making it difficult to 'accidentally' wander into the wrong lab or office.

Entirely walled in, accessible by key card and fingerprint scan, the actual development labs are housed within the closed-off portion. It looks as you might expect a high-tech lab to look. Sterile, white floors, glass walls, tables with computers. Some of the rooms are clearly clean rooms, where electronics work is being done. Other room house tables of equipment that is unrecognizable to all but the untrained eye. There appear to be several rooms near the very center that require still more security and reinforcement — it is here that the ultra-high-security electronics are being tested for use.

On the other side of a heavy, locked door are the backs of four very different people standing in a sterile lab, their arrangement forming a semi-circle around a large object covered in a thick white sheet. Fluorescent lighting reflects off tools of various purpose, some sinister looking while others simply a commonplace screwdriver; but all immaculately kept and spotless in their exact place along all four walls.

A hand reaches out and rests on the sheet, long fingers tipped with electric yellow polish and flesh etched with twisting lines of too many tattoos. “Y'all ready for this?”, the husky voice is unmistakably one Devi Ezell.

A tiny, bubbling crow of excitement comes from the creature perched on Seren's shoulder, who looks like they're close to letting out an excitable yes of their own. They try hard to keep their cool, standing arms folded with a fox-like creature that looks to be made of water curled around their shoulder and neck. Through its body, the tattoo and scar it covers can still be hazily seen on the side of their neck.

This is the first time they've seen a design of theirs come to life like this. Real life. It might still be a proof of concept, but it was a thing that worked and they helped design it.

Seren might have had a degree in architectural design, but was more than happy to lend their assistance for this effort. It shows in the proud grin they bear, finally nodding to Devi. Yes, they are very ready for this.

This is the first time Brynn’s ever been to Raytech. The place is incredible. And she’s more than a little subdued, escorted to Devi’s lab by security as she was. Wide gray eyes have been taking it all in, and she still has yet to say one word to the rest of the occupants despite eyeing Seren’s pet with fascination. She’s been thoroughly engrossed in watching the creature move, but as all eyes turn to Devi, so too do Brynn’s.

Standing back by the wall, she watches curiously to see how it’s all come together.

Something must have clicked in Devi’s head when Caspian's wall painting was done and the explanation of what he did for a day job came out in conversation. Still, dressed in rather casual clothes for the situation - jeans and a basic work shirt, the bright orange VISITOR tag hanging around his neck, he looks well and truly out of his element. The opportunity to see some new technology unveiled behind the locked and passworded doors was something that really broke up the monotony of working on solar arrays, and getting some time inside might give him a few ideas as far as things go. Also, the chance to meet new people was also an interesting thing. “I’m ready.” Caspian says from his spot near the side where he has a good view of the whole room. He's excited, bouncing on his toes briefly and looking to Seren and theirelittle passenger, then the familiar Brynn for just a second before his attention is dragged back to the sheet-covered…whatever it is.

Chartreuse shadow is a stark, bright color against Devi’s pale complexion, dark tattoos, and even darker eyes. The woman’s irises are gone, seemingly swallowed whole by her irises, when she turns to take in Seren’s silent and excited response. A flit of that same, unnervingly dark gaze is meant to catch Brynn’s attention briefly, a wink given. With that her tattooed grip gives a yank.

White cotton hisses across metal and pools in a silent puddle, nearly indistinguishable on the sterile, alabaster floor. Something in the room’s center reflects more fluorescent lighting, refracting it in a prismatic sheen.


Devi steps back, matte black lips draw in a mama’s proud grin.

“We made a beautiful baby together, you guys.”

A slow gasp, inhaled, crescendoes into a note of delight as Seren looks on, arms drawn up by their side with balled fists. “I love it.” comes out almost as a squeak.

It's a shock to no one but them themselves how excited they are, as they duck their head sheepishly afterward, both hands pressing to their chest. For all the dark colors Seren often dresses in, they have a colorful heart and personality. The black predominance in their clothing is no different than usual, even their jeans a black with faded gray bleached into it. “Oh my god,” their grey eyes are widened, elated and excited and shocked. They swivel to the intuit in the room. “Oh my god, miss Devi, we made that.

With tender steps, Seren draws closer to the thing drawing the light. They lay their hand on it.

It doesn't phase through.

Another tiny noise of excitement comes from them directly, rather than tiny Baird like one might expect. The tiny creature collapses into a stream of water, swirling down around Seren's arm to splash over the reflective surface before reforming as a slightly different, more catlike shape than before. It sniffs gingerly, trying to decide how it feels about the final design.

Brynn's gray eyes widen and she looks … amazed. That. is. PRIMAL, she signs deliberately. Her eyes flicker excitedly to Devi and she pulls out her phone to speedtype, Raytech is actually going to build it?? Are you going to use those colors or are we going to customize them? This is PRIMAL!

Caspian lets out a low whistle as the sheet is removed, crouching down to follow the hand-sculpted panels with a well-trained eye. It’s balanced, that’s for certain, and looks like it’s going a million miles per hour just sitting there, gleaming beneath the overhead lights. “Man…” he says softly. “Just looking at it? It reminds me of when I was on a car trip with my parents. Listening to a Walkman in the dark. That silence right before the guitars started…” Judas Priest’s Screaming for Vengeance, if you must know. Caspian trails off, walking over to rest a hand atop it, giving it an affectionate pat. “Gives me chills, man.”

Devi laughs a deep, husky melody of sound at Seren’s chirruped reaction and testing of the unveiling pieces tangibility. “It’s real. All there.” The tall, raven-haired woman turns to Brynn to take in the text and then indulges a few choppy signs with her tattooed fingers, speaking for the benefit of the others. “Yes. Starting at the World Fair.” She grins from nearly ear to ear, the stars at the corner of her eyes wrinkled in her excitement. “Me? No. We? You? Yes.”

She stops signing but keeps her tattooed countenance turned in a way that makes it easy for Brynn to read her ebon-painted lips. “We can discuss the roll-out later. I wanted you all to have the first look at what you inspired, worked for, and accomplished. This is going to change the Safe Zone like you won’t fucking believe.” A glance is cast back to the primal contraption.

“But now for the really important part? What the hell do we name her?”

Seren catches onto the signs with a rapid back and forth, looking between Devi and Brynn both. Oh. That was interesting! Baird looks up from its inspection, letting out a grumbling crow. It passes, apparently.

A warm smile has taken hold of Seren and won't let go, their beaming extending to the others, too. They take a step back, all the better to lend Caspian direct access. Gray eyes critically assess the thing the group studies, and Seren begins to walk about it. Their tendency to see life where there isn't any leads them to pause in front of it, studying the frame with a tilt of their head. Hands shoving into the pockets of their jeans, the dark plaid shirt with gray blocks and white pinstripes of lines shifts on their slender form.

"It looks like a Mantis," they share, looking back to Devi to see if she approves. The jutting edges along its front certainly look like arms. Seren looks back down to one of the solar panels visible on its body, studying it thoughtfully. It's nothing to the point their ability kicks into overdrive with a telltale silvering of their irises, but the gears are turning.

Caspian's presence actually makes things a little simpler for Brynn, and now that everyone's talking, she signs a query. Translate for me? Her brothers do it automatically, but she doesn't make that assumption with her friends necessarily.

You want us to name it? I like the suggestion of Mantis, she admits. Tipping her head to study the contraption — the first time she's seen more than rough sketches — and she grins wickedly. Moving forward to touch the surface, she slides her hands over it. Behind her touch, colors shift, and when she's done smoothing her hand over the panels, it matches Raytech's logo colors. Gotta have good advertising, she points out.

One of Caspian’s many talents is that he knows ASL, mainly as a requirement for ease of conversation when hanging around Brynn and her brothers, so translating for Brynn isn’t a problem. “Okay.” He makes the sign as well, a circle with thumb and forefinger and then a sign that looks almost like it would be a decent bunny rabbit in profile. “Devi, getting the batteries so compact to fit on to this and making the panels so efficient… hell, you get any of this into production any time soon and I’ll be able to put most of the Safe Zone on battery power using the technology.”

It’s what the World’s Fair is for, after all - showing off what you can do better than most, proving that your company, workshop, or crazy idea is just crazy enough to work.

“I was going to say something like Slingshot, but I think Mantis is the way to go given those two choices.” Caspian agrees. “The only thing I know with that name was a kit car from the 60’s, so it shouldn’t have any sort of hangups for advertising, and it has that tough name that’ll get a person’s blood pumping.” Standing, he runs his hand over one of the molded panels, tapping it. “Is this carbon fiber too?”

Devi watches Seren first with a knowing smile, then the others. Her attention is notably more upon her fellow creators and sources of inspiration than that which has captivated them so at the heart and center of this pristine lab space. Brynn’s adjustment to the color palette get a whistle of appreciation. “The Boss Man is sure to like that.”

Warm, dark chocolate eyes turn to Caspian. She tips her head and finally considers the project piece when his hand rests upon the paneling. “Lightweight but extremely durable,” she says with a nod. That nod continues on longer, turning into some agreement to inner thoughts yet unvoiced. After a moment the biker bitch steps forward and makes an overly casual, flippant gesture of her hand. “Listen you guys - this was all you. I had an inkling of selfishness, but you each made this something bigger. Something better.”

Her gaze suddenly narrows and she clears her throat. “That’s it. That’s all your getting outta me, punks.” She flashes a charming grin while her gaze sweeps the pro-type from left to right and back again. Devi’s husky tones test the title on for size with a nod… “Mantis.”

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