Past Made Present


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Scene Title Past Made Present
Synopsis Kay Damaris has knowledge about a past associate to help with Asi's (and Silas') problems of the present.
Date December 12, 2019

Thumbing through screens on her phone, Asi's eyes are half-lidded while she works on arranging the call. It's tedious, boring— but less boring than sitting in silence waiting for Kain to return. Hooking into the lightRadio unit upstairs was easy enough, the password left default. Now there was just the matter of manipulating this small screen…

She frowns at it, finally using her ability to manipulate the small computer window visible from where she's remoting out. Things move more swiftly, her eyes reflecting the light of the screen before her. With a quiet hmph, she finally sets about initiating a call.

Then she glances up. With a look at Silas, she decides to never lift it to her ear. She sets the phone on the coffee table between them, activating the speaker phone.

Immediately, it sets to ringing.

Yamagato Park

December 12, 2019

9:14 pm

It’s a corded phone that rings. Incongruous with the rest of the sleek, futuristic office that Kaydence Damaris inherited from Kam Nisatta. A screen appears in thin air in front of where the director is hunched over her work. Lifting her head, she narrows her eyes faintly at the unknown number. That’s not entirely uncommon. Usually it’s her daughter calling from whatever hangout is popular this week with kids her age. Sometimes it’s information.

This is something else entirely.

“Thank you for calling Yamagato Industries,” the southerner greets in her smoothest professional voice, “this is Kay Damaris. How can I help you today?” With any luck, the person on the other end of the line is calling to help her. She knows it isn’t ‘Ella calling. She wouldn’t have gotten through the third syllable of Yamagato.

"It's ON1."

Asi is polite enough to wait for her to finish her speech, at least. Her voice sounds vaguely processed, distant. But it's her.

"… Isn't it past quitting time over there?" she asks, a conversational lilt to her puzzlement.

“You’re right,” Kay agrees, as though this was not an unexpected call at all. “I should have been answering moshi moshi.” Her syllables are far too distinctly pronounced. And irrevocably tinged with that accent of hers. Mow-shee mow-shee. Bless her heart, she tries.

“I know I don’t need to explain about the time difference with Tokyo.” Leaning back in her chair, Kay winds the purple coil of phone cord around her hand absently, staring out the window at the darkened skyline, such as it is. “I don’t suppose you’re calling to buy chocolates from my daughter’s travelling softball team fundraiser? They need new uniforms, y’see…”

What’s this about? hangs unspoken in the silence between the lines. She suspects — wrongly — that it’s something to do with that little missing arm problem from last month.

Asi closes her eyes, arms folding as she leans forward onto her thighs. A look of amusement passes over her and then it’s gone with the comment about the time difference. Right. They open again by the time Kay moves on to fundraisers. “I’m not sure you’d appreciate me buying chocolates I can’t come to collect, Kay. It’s not like I am just down the hall anymore.”

She drums her fingers once along the fold of her arm, silent against the leather of her coat. “I’m doing a bit of digging on something presently …” is how she frames the situation, aloof. Working on three things at once, by the sounds of it. Isn’t she always? “Was hoping to ask you a question about a ‘past life’, if you have a moment.”

One eyebrow arches at her phone as she looks down at it. “But if you’re still on company time, I’m patient— I can call back. My day’s just beginning, after all.”

Silas's face shades towards a mild, bland expression at Asi's comment about not being just down the hall; he adds an arched eyebrow and the hint of a smile when she says her day's just beginning. Ordinarily he'd probably snicker, but under the circumstances that'd probably be… unwise. So he contents himself with merely looking drily amused and listening.

Kaydence’s amusement is much the same as Asi’s - fleeting in the face of business. “A past life, you say?” Shifting the receiver from her hand to cradle against her shoulder, she starts closing programs on her workstation. There’s nothing here that can’t wait until tomorrow. Or at least 3 am.

“Let me just transfer this to my mobile.” The desk phone is just a relic of the past. It’s still wired in to the same number. “One sec…” Next to the nostalgic communication unit sits her actual cell phone. Lifting it up off the desk with one hand, she fishes an earpiece out of the top drawer of her desk with the other and nestles it in place. Two, three, four taps later, the connection is changed to her ear with only the faintest pop to indicate the transition.

Asi can hear the receiver click down on the base, ringing off quietly, muffled. “That’s better.” Kay grabs her purse from where it sits on the floor and slides her phone into the interior pocket. “Lights off,” she murmurs. The lighting in the room slowly dims as she makes her way across the floor and to the door to the hallway and the elevator bank.

“You have my attention.” And Damaris’ raised hackles.

Eyes still on the phone, Asi notes the shift in tone without so much as a blink. “This is reaching back, but I don’t suppose you happen to remember the name Silas Mackenzie.” Her attention never leaves the phone, her voice never wavers in its light, precise delivery. The information is left to settle for the barest moment before she goes on to elaborate, leaving little room for doubt: “From what I’m reading, he’d have been an associate of yours during your time with the Linderman Group.”

The silence lingers, and Kay is content to let it do so. When it’s interrupted by Asi’s elaboration, she sucks in a breath between her teeth and waits for the elevator doors to close before she grumbles out, “You’re about as subtle as a brick to the face, ain’t ya?” Working her jaw from side to side as though she could chew on the tension, she considers how to respond.

“Redd’s a piece of work,” she confirms, watching as the floor numbers tick down slowly. “If you’re mixed up with him… I’d say God help ya, but I don’t think there’s much even He can do for ya.” There’s a quiet ding and the door opens to the ground floor. Her posture is easy and relaxed as she flashes a smile to the personnel at the security desk on her way out the door.

Just another day at the office for Director Damaris.

It becomes readily apparent to Asi the moment Kay steps outside and into the winter wind. It doesn’t last long before there are echoing footsteps. The parking garage. “I’d ask you how you know about that connection at all, but…” It’s what landed her this job in the first place. And ON1 has access to all sorts of information that Kay could only dream about getting her hands on.

Rather than head inside the Cresting Wave, Kay heads over to her designated parking spot and climbs into her SUV. Shutting the door and setting her purse on the passenger seat, she pinches the bridge of her nose between two fingers. “Associate,” to get back around to the subject at hand, “isn’t the word I would use.”

Asi waits through the accusation she's being heavy-handed without so much as blinking. Listening as hard as she is, hoping the connection doesn't stutter in the lift, there's little time for much else. But the line stays true— she's speaking from Yamagato Park, after all.

The mention of the unfamiliar moniker grabs her attention instantly, though. While Kay levels her warning, Asi reaches forward to her phone to lay a finger along the side of it, like she's adjusting its position. A notepad opens up, a single word scribing itself out for her later reference.


When the noise of the parking garage hits, her expression changes. Where before she'd been listening hard— alert— now she seemed… anxious? She looks back and forth quickly, frowning while the footfalls of Kay's shoes feed back to them. She only eases in that tension when she hears the car door shut. Perhaps Kay's safe enough there.

As far as Asi knew, there had been no security incidents in that garage since hers, but after she'd been jumped, a certain sense of hypervigilance for that site prevailed. It was hard not to transfer that concern even to others, apparently.

"What would you call it, then?" she asks after Kay makes her clarification. "Did you not work with him professionally?" The question is easy enough to ask, but Asi reconsiders her approach all but immediately. "Forgive me if that's too blunt. I'm… going off what I've learned." Apology bleeds into her tone before she moves on, less clinical going forward. "I admittedly know little about the Linderman Group's structuring. I might have made … certain assumptions."

Public relations, and all.

“Allow me to rephrase,” Kay sighs. “Associate is not the word I’d like to use.” That does not mean that it’s inaccurate. “He would… do what he does and I would come along behind to make sure it never tracked back.” Which is a beautifully ambiguous way of saying that Redd would murder someone and Kay would cover it up on the NYPD side of things.

Resting her elbow against the driver’s side window, Kaydence props her chin up in her hand. This is a past she thought she’d long left buried, and Asi is one of the last people she expected to unearth it. “I never liked to consider myself one of the Group. I felt like I was just doing the odd favor…” She personally never received any money for the work she did for him. Technically, no one has. It’s all sitting in a trust fund for Coleen Marcella Damaris. “But I suppose that’s beside the point.” She can try to rewrite history all she wants, but she can’t say she left that sort of life behind. Not with a straight face.

“So, Redd. He used to work for Linderman out in Vegas. Started out dealing cards, married some showgirl, had a daughter. Tried to do right by them.” That much Kay can sympathize with, but it only goes so far. “Tried to do right by the government, too. The DEA recruited him to inform on old Danny boy, and he did. But then the first bomb went off, and they just… left him hanging. Linderman finds out about his little side hustle and gives him a choice: Get his hands dirty, or lose everything.”

Telling the story like this, Kay can’t help but see the similarities to her own recruitment. She frowns, and her muted reflection in the windshield frowns back at her. “Redd had this ability. He just kind of made you not realize he was there. He’d come outta nowhere like fucking Batman.” She shakes her head. “Made it real easy to get in, get out, and nobody got hurt except the ones that were meant to.”

This is where the paths in the woods diverge. “Trouble is, Redd seemed to get a taste for it. It maybe wasn’t the life he would’ve chose for himself, but he took to it. Guy could practically scare a person to death. I could always tell when he’d been around. Nichols - Linderman’s girl - would be real jumpy.”

Kay studies her reflection, noting her own concern. “What’re you mixed up in, Asi?”

Ambiguous silence is Asi's sole reply to Kay's attempt to distance herself from Linderman's people. If there's judgment for her path, it's unclear, but there's certainly not sympathy. When details start to come, her steadying touch doesn't stray from the phone, clusters of Japanese characters summarizing her thoughts in text about what Kay shares. Her eyes narrow, gaze shifting finally to Silas for a moment to consider him.

Unlike the first time this story was aired between them, there's no suspicion that rises in her. Her eyes narrow though when Kay describes the change that happened, and Asi looks away.

When Kay poses her very reasonable question, her ghostlike touch parts from the phone. She sighs, audibly, like she's being put upon to provide an answer. "A little over a month back, I was traveling," Asi explains, her gaze distant. Her expression sharpens, tongue glued to the roof of her mouth for the split second it takes to wrangle her tone of voice into submission, the half-truth slipping from her without hesitation when it comes. "I ran afoul of him."

"I shot, and I missed. I don't intend on that happening twice." Subtle as a brick to the face. "The trouble is, he is like a ghost. Missing since the war, though clearly not dead."

"You knew him. Any suggestions on what would bring him out of hiding again?"

“Shit.” That she missed. Former colleague or not - or maybe especially because he’s a former colleague - Kay would have been pleased to hear someone took him out. “For a while, I thought I was the last one standing from that little team…” That causes a constriction on her heart that can be heard in her tone, but only just.

A clearing of her throat dismisses any lingering trace of the emotion that slips in unbidden. “We used to have a good thing going.” She’s not wistful for days past, regardless of how this thought is started. “Linderman’s man would identify the problems, Silas would take care of them, and I’d clean up the mess.” She wants a drink, but liquor is in her condo. And so is ‘Ella.

A long pause hangs over the line between her and Asi. “Kain Zarek died in the 2010 riots.” Her throat goes tight and a tear slides down her cheek. She’s grateful her associate can’t see her like this. “That’s when Silas jumped ship. Started callin’ himself Silas R-E-Double-D Redd. Started working for that—” She bites back a disparaging epithet. “d’Sarthe Shakin’ down people on Staten Island. And those he couldn’t intimidate, well…” It doesn’t take a lot of imagination to fill in that blank.

“That—” Again, she catches herself, holding back her choice words for what kind of man she thinks the crime boss is. “Gideon owns a lion’s share of Staten thanks to Redd’s spook work. He stands to gain a lot of money in a buyout now if the city decides to incorporate the borough into the Safe Zone.”

Ultimately, that’s neither here nor there. “From what I hear, Redd went to ground during the war. What brought him back? I can’t say. His wife’s dead, and his daughter wants nothing to do with him. Doesn’t even live around these parts anymore.”

Fingers restlessly tap on the leather-wrapped steering wheel. “You know that old song? Ain’t No Rest for the Wicked? Money don’t grow on trees. Guy like him? Doesn’t have a whole lot of options anymore. It’s hard to go straight after that sort of life.” Not that Kay believes for a moment that the Silas of this world deserves the chance to live his life as though the past never happened. And she doesn’t give a flying fuck if that makes her a hypocrite. “Maybe he’s popping up to cash in on Gideon’s impending good fortune. Maybe he thinks he’s entitled to a cut. Maybe the motherfucker got nostalgic. I don’t fucking know.

“If you have a chance to bury him? Do it.

Whatever emotion is hidden in Kay's voice, that small twist in her tone at hearing she's not alone, Asi can only guess at its reason. She narrows her eyes at it, but little else, waiting for whatever comes next. When the information starts to flow, she reaches for the phone again, notes being added, amended. The mention of Kain goes by without so much as a blink on her part, though she adds no notes regarding him.

She visibly pauses shortly after, the mention of the d'Sarthe name throwing her. Gideon d'Sarthe is a name only loosely familiar to her, though shortly, it won't be. Asi's expression hardens with a frown. "Great," she mutters at hearing the man might as well own Staten Island. If he begins to work with the city— or the government— he'll become a harder man for the likes of her to touch.

The rest of it leaves them both one step ahead of where they were before in terms of information, but the path ahead still unclear, and with many possible forks.

"I intend on it, Kay." Asi shares. "It's somewhat personal now." There's an edge to her tone, the same one she'd take when taking a hard line on requesting confidential files from Yamagato regarding their personnel during her search for the mole. "It's a game of onigokko now."

"Though, he was wanted at Albany. If he can be turned over— if his victims can receive some small justice from his incarceration, I mean to try." The technopath leans back again, her eyes lifting for the darkened, ice-dusted windows of the apartment. "Kay…" Asi starts again to let her know that's not all, but it takes time for her to plot the course of her words.

"… I'm still working on the item I promised to keep you informed on. I believe it may be closer than you think. Not organizationally, but physically. I don't know how they got it out of Japan, but I can guess. I believe I know who has it, but I need time to confirm." Her gaze hardens on the darkened window. "I thought I had it tracked before, but I was wrong." A bit drily, she quips, "Nothing like piggybacking on the wrong police raid."

"As far as 'Redd' goes," and silently, she is relieved she has that alternate name to call this other Silas by, "A potential live capture requires a line on an item I don't have, and don't have a current contact for. I believe Eizen is unlikely to help me, but perhaps you could pitch the need for the item in my place."

It’s most likely Kay can guess what it is, but Asi clarifies anyway: “Negation gas.” She’s calm, apparently unperturbed at the mention of the war-crime material. “Tell him it’s for reobtaining the arm,” she suggests. “He had no trouble acquiring it the first time.”

Silas's face has gone a bit paler, his face seeming almost ashen as Kay's testimony on Redd. Part of it may be the clearly apparent loathing his former coworker seems to have for him, paired with the knowledge that he'd dodged a bullet twice in Yamagato Park… but another part is because Kaydence Damaris's words have enough of the anecdotal, enough of the personal in them for him to start to get a better handle on what makes his evil twin tick.

And recognizing reflections of the same things in himself. Redd had apparently liked to spook Linderman's secretary; probably he spooked lots of his coworkers, not with any real malice but just for the shits and giggles of it. Silas, on occasion, has also done this, hasn't he?

And getting a taste for murder? Silas definitely doesn't have that… but there's still a certain darkness at the bottom of his temper, isn't there? Like when he'd given one of the goons who'd shot Ria Cardinal a rear lobotomy with a carving knife. And he'd sure have given good old Director Don a brand new six inch smile with a butterknife if the man had given him half a chance…

And Redd gave me a cigarette. A reflection from the other side, this time. Perhaps.

D'Sarthe, though. Now they have a name for who Redd's working for. A lead. Finally. That's enough to pull Silas out of his reverie, start him considering the challenges ahead and how to overcome them. He can't stop the flicker of a faint smile that comes to his lips when Asi brings up onigokko, though… Silas lets out a slow breath. He knows what onigokko means from Aces — not just the Japanese meaning of the word, but the Asi-ese meaning of it — and it does wonders to ease his troubled mind.

Kay wipes at her face with her fingertips while she listens to Asi speak. The shift in topic is a welcome one. It gives her something else to focus on besides the pain in her chest. “Any lead you have, I’ll take action on,” she assures the technopath.

The request has the director sitting up straighter in her seat. It’s not a surprise. If she were out to catch Redd, she’d want that particular ace up her sleeve too. “Yeah, no problem. I’ll pitch it to Eizen. I don’t ask for stuff like that from him often. Should probably go over just fine.” Even if she will wind up owing a favor in return. That’s a chance she’ll very willingly take.

“Listen, if I were still wearing my badge, I’d look into the daughter first. I’m not saying go visit her or anything. I’m sure she just wants to be left alone, and I’m sure as shit that Redd wouldn’t take kindly to harassing his kin. But if I were him, I’d be sending Antonia MacKenzie money. I’d be sending my grandkid money. So, maybe put some of that skill to use,” Kay advises. “Follow the money and see where it goes. Figure out which branch he’s sending it from and you might narrow down your search area.”

It’s a good idea. But it makes Asi frown anyway. Bothering Antonia Mackenzie wasn’t in her playbook, but now that the idea is said aloud, it pains her to realize spooking the daughter might be a way to flush out the father, if all other leads fail. Years ago, applying that kind of pressure would not have made her blink twice. “We’ll see if there’s a paper trail,” she supposes aloud. “But if I were him? There’d not be one. If I had his ability, I would just ring the doorbell and wait for someone to answer and collect a physical package.”

Assuming he’s still sentimental, she warns herself. But she knows: Most people, no matter how twisted, have a special soft spot when it comes to family.

It could be once a month. It could be once a year. But to her, the possibility feels moderate to high.

“Check your bank account for a deposit soon,” Asi suggests offhandedly. “Either buy yourself a bottle of whiskey, or some of those chocolates for your daughter’s baseball team.”

Her hand hovers forward over the phone. “I’ll be in touch.”

“It’s appreciated,” is all Kay says of the money. She doesn’t disagree with Asi’s assessment of what Redd’s method of delivery might be, given his ability. “Take care of yourself, alright? It’s always good to hear from you.”

The opinions of Kaydence Lee Damaris may not necessarily reflect those of Yamagato Industries.

“I’ll touch base with Eizen tomorrow. You know how to reach me.” She reaches over to slide her phone out of her purse and stare at the screen for a long moment, reluctant to end the call, in spite of its dredging up elements of her past she’d rather leave forgotten. And annoyed with herself for that reluctance. She knows Asi will feel no such reluctance. “Good luck.”

She doesn't, but that's a character fault of her own rather than anything Kay has done. After all, they'd both just been doing their jobs, the last they saw each other. And Kay had been a good neighbor.

So perhaps Asi does feel something then, if not reluctance.

"Happy holidays," Asi says, and the line disconnects with a subtle pop.

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