Only Kidnappers And Technopaths


asi2_icon.gif monica_icon.gif

Scene Title Only Kidnappers and Technopaths
Synopsis Asi checks in with Monica only long enough to ask for a favor.
Date February 4, 2020

New York City Safe Zone

After months of cohabitation that had spanned two countries and various stages of illegality, Asi had simply disappeared overnight. It wasn't like her to be gone long if she went out, unless she was drinking at Cat's— and she hadn't been. She'd not gone to visit Silas, either. In their entire time in New York again, she'd not been back to Yamagato Park, not even to visit Godfrey or Marlowe.

Then came the news of an explosion at PISEC. A day after, the public realization came that it wasn't just an accident, and there were prisoners missing. And still no Asi.

A few hours after the press conference detailing as much, Monica's phone rings. It's an unknown phone number dialing, which might as well scream kidnapper or technopath in this day and age, because everyone else who doesn't want to be known when they call has moved on to spoofing numbers.

"Hey," says the missing technopath when the line picks up. A beat passes, during which no apology or explanation for her disappearance comes forward. It's a pause broken by, of all things, "I need a favor."

Monica looks at her phone, eyebrow lifting when there's no name displayed on the screen, but she fears no kidnapper and knows a few too many paranoid technopaths not to answer. "Yo," is all she gets out before she hears Asi's voice. The words she says. And doesn't say.

"Oh, hey, look who's not dead," she says in a sort of playful admonishment. She knows what it's like to need to disappear for a while and most of her friends have been in this exact situation with her. It's nice to be on the other side once in a while. She also doesn't seem to need an explanation or an apology, because there's hardly even a beat before she continues.

"What's the favor?"

The levity in Monica's tone earns her some in return, a touch of melodrama to Asi's voice as she insists, "Nothing dramatic, I assure you." There might even be the hint of a smile to it, but it quickly fades back to a deadpan, accompanied by a faint crackle in the quality of the call. "I think I'm going to be out of town for a while. Would you mind keeping my stuff safe while I'm gone?"

A beat passes, and half a world away Asi cants her head to one side as she works on getting to the more important part. "…Along with something I'm having Silas bring to you?" She runs her teeth along her lip, guilt for asking manifest at least there. "It's something I need well-hidden, in the event someone comes looking for me." There's care in her tone, leaving it unspoken but obvious she's not saying everything. It's not a thing she enjoys employing, either. "He doesn't know he's bringing it to you yet, but he's my next call, first thing in the morning."

"Yeah, I can hold onto your stuff," Monica says, the sound of a glass bottle settling against a table following her words. Because the more Asi goes on, the more Monica has the urge to pace. Which is what she ends up doing the more things go unsaid. "Asi, I've got you. Whatever you need hidden, I'm on it." There's a but hanging in her words, her tone shifting to something more serious as she speaks.

"If you're in trouble, you let me know and I'll come pull you out of it. You know you can do that, right?" There's the obvious assumption that Asi is protecting the content of their call, at least from digital spying, even if she can't speak freely wherever she is at the moment.

There's a short pause as Asi shifts the phone against the crook of her shoulder, trying to figure out what to say. I know would be an easy enough concession to make, but it goes unsaid. Her voice is quieter when she speaks again. "There's too much to be doing out there, where you are, all right?" It's a careful dance to avoid outright saying she doesn't want to get her friend— any of her friends— involved in what she's been doing, but she makes her best effort.

"The only trouble would be if you met with trouble. So… look out for you, out for Eve and them, all right?"

"Girl, you know I love trouble," Monica says with a soft laugh. It's meant to be playful, like maybe she's going to let Asi have her dance and not call attention to it. But, of course, this is Monica, who doesn't let too many dances go on without jumping in herself.

"Listen," she says, her tone shifting to something more serious, "I get that you're going through something right now and you've decided to go it alone. Believe me, I get that. So I'll hold down the fort over here for now. But if you get in over your head and need a hand, all this junk here? It can wait." There is only a small list of people Monica will drop everything for, Asi has made it onto that list whether she likes it or not. "And you know how much I like to come to the rescue," she adds, playful tone rising back to the surface.

Despite herself, despite every attempt to keep a straight face, Asi lets out a laugh under her breath. "Yeah, I hear the market for replacement parkour buddies is pitiful," she murmurs into the receiver, working the smile off her face with a shake of her head. A brief silence swallows everything else she would like to say. There is plenty more she would, if she trusted their privacy better.

The twist of her brow bleeds into her voice as she stresses, "It's not a matter of trust— I don't want you to think that. I wouldn't leave what I am to you if I did not." It's tempting to sigh, but she controls the long, slow exhale of it. For a moment she doesn't know what else to say.

But then it becomes obvious. "So… thank you. For understanding. For everything."

"You wouldn't believe how few people will let me grab them and jump off a building," Monica says, a smile on her lips and warmth in her voice. "And you're welcome. Your stuff will be waiting for you when you come back. I'll even make sure Eve doesn't get anywhere near any of it. Even your secret package." There's a weight to her words, a worry she doesn't want to say out loud, but she knows with solo mission you can't tell your friends about there's always a risk of not coming back.

"Check in when you can," is how she chooses to come at it. And a beat passes while she contemplates leaving it at that. She can feel a knot of anxiety tighten at the thought that these might be their last words. But, too, she never would want to give her friend the impression that she thinks she's incapable in any fashion.

"And get me a souvenir, will you?"

Another huff of amusement comes from Asi, relieved and grateful that Monica knows to shield her belongings appropriately. "Fried equipment is of no use to anyone," she says instead of thank you.

The silence that stretches on before Monica makes her comment is one Asi can't bring herself to break, waiting instead for whatever it is her friend has to say, whether it be solemn or plated in humor. Silent, unseen, she just nods. "Yeah," Asi voices a moment later. "I'll see if they have any of those birds for Luther, too."

"Take care, Monica."

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