Raytech Meeting - April


barney_icon.gif des_icon.gif jared_icon.gif kaylee2_icon.gif luther2_icon.gif richard_icon.gif remi_icon.gif sera_icon.gif valerie_icon.gif

Scene Title Raytech Meeting - April
Synopsis Raytech's executives and project managers meet to discuss their current projects and thoughts for a brighter future - but the shadow of the past lingers still.
Date April 14, 2018

Raytech Branch Office: Conference Room

An inverted glass pyramid framed in steel bars descends from the ceiling to the floor in the middle of this room, surrounded by a long black tables and matching chairs; small consoles are set along the sides of the table, allowing interaction with the ‘holographic’ display system, allowing images to be displayed in apparent three-dimensions within the room’s centerpiece. There’s also a flat television on one wall, mostly used for teleconferencing.

The windows can be polarized to opaque with a simple touch control, providing natural light or privacy as desired, and a cabinet beneath the television holds a variety of supplies - clipboards, paper, notebooks, pens and the like.

The Raytech logo slowly rotates in the middle of the conference room, hovering at the heart of the holographic display pyramid that descends from ceiling to floor in transparent acrylics. Surrounding it is the black surface of the hollow square of tables and leather chairs, providing plenty of room for everyone to sit and see everyone else, small computer consoles set into the table at each seat.

“Thank you for coming, everyone,” says Richard Ray - the CEO - as he stands at one end of the table, dressed in a black suit and tie, a black shirt beneath the suit jacket giving him a singularly monochromatic aesthetic today. “If you’ll all take your seats, we can get started.”

Quietly, Sera slips beside Ray’s seat and fills his glass of water from a pitcher. She then gives him a wordless fingergun-wink-click and slips back behind him and out of sight.

“Today we’re going to discuss recent events, our current projects, and then any project proposals that anyone might have,” he continues, lips twitching in a faint smile, “So if you have any proposals save them for the end, otherwise we’ll endlessly go off topic.”

He knows his people well.

For once, Valerie has made her way to the meeting in person. The fancy robotic-ish wheelchair pushed up against the table hides her lower body and allows her to look her physical best, even if she can’t just get up and walk away at the end as easily as some might want to be able to. She has a folder in front of her, a pen that she’s twirling in her hand, and a smile on her face. Yes, she knows they could easily get off topic. That’s why she brought notes.

But for the moment, she’s waiting for someone else to begin.

Your hair looks lovely, Ms. Ray.” Sera compliments in a whisper as she makes her way around the table, ensuring that Valerie had a full glass of water. Talking can be strenuous on a dry throat!

Sitting to one side of her brother, Kaylee Ray-Sumter looks at the people around the table with a light smile, while he calls the meeting to order. Once he sits, However, the telepath rises to her feet, with a widening smile. It is one of the few time people will see her wear a pencil skirt rather then slacks. Her outfit is all black except for the light purple button-up shirt she wears under the jacket.

“Hello everyone,” she offers pleasantly enough. “We do have one recent event worth noting.” Gold bangle clink softly as she gestures toward Luther with both hands, she smile bright. “Please, welcome Mr. Luther Bellamy as our new Head of Physical Security.” She glances around the table, possibly gauging reactions. “I know you all may be surprised since, well, he has in the past been cleaning our floors, but I promise you… he is qualified and so ask you all to cooperate with his efforts going forward.”

She dips a head in his direction. “Welcome, sir.”

With that Kaylee starts to settle back into her chair, but stops. “Oh… this also means we are looking for a new custodial contractor, so if you know someone…” she leaves that comment open ended, because they all know to send applications to her. Finally, she sits again.

From the back of the room, Sera briefly sets down her pitcher of water to enthusiastically clap when Luther's promotion is raised. When she realizes she may have did that a little too soon she grimace, hides a by behind her long bangs, and goes to fill Kaylee’s water.

Barney is well, he was a little bit late, shuffling in with an apology and something about scientists trying to develop a long burning fuel source for heat for people in need and him having to break down for them just how bad of an idea it is to create something akin to napalm for civilians. It took a fair bit of explaining if the exasperation on his face is anything to go by. He's got a couple of folders with him as well as his ever present metal case clipboard. He shuffles over to an empty chair and slides down into it. He's dressed in a simple tan suit with a pale blue tie and a dress shirt that is both colors striped.

He settles into his seat, his hands busy organizing the files and clipboard into a neat pile. There's a soft huff from him as he finishes and looks up, and then around at everyone else around the table. "Afternoon." He greets in a soft rumble before turning his attention back to Ray as he starts to speak. There's a genuinely bemused smile at the comment about saving proposals for the end. Barney doesn't know Luther beyond seeing the man cleaning up around the building but claps politely… if other people are clapping. Actually even if other people aren't. He'll just look embarrassed if other people aren't.

That's a very smart tie, Mr. Sorensen.” Sera motions down to it with a nod as she fills Barney’s water, flashing him a charmed smile before she lips behind him and out of sight again.

Jared Harrison, chief legal counsel for the business, is leaned comfortably back in his chair. Charcoal grey suit with a pin-striped shirt and silver and blue tie — he looks the epitome of LAWYER! He doesn't see the need to stand if he's going to speak. "Congratulations, Luther." A swift glance at Barney when he enters tells him that the man has taken care of the scientists who were about to cause RayTech no end of trouble. He nods slightly in greeting and turns his attention back to the meeting at hand, casting a brief wink at Valerie. The man has a soft spot for the youngest Ray — she's a strong person who has a remarkable perspective on life. He taps a finger quietly on the table as he looks over the assembled group and smiles faintly. But he doesn't have anything to say as yet.

As Sera fills up Jared’s water, she glances over at Ray, then back again. But otherwise she is the model of professionalism and slips back out of sight without comment.

Remi is, as always, stylishly dressed, this time in an impeccably tailored business suit that hugs her frame just enough without lacking professionalism. One always must look good when being the pretty face that handles public relations. She leans back comfortably in her own seat, legs crossed as she taps an expensive-looking pen on a pad of paper.

A welcoming smile is offered to Luther, and Remi dips her head toward him graciously. “Congratulations.” She glances toward Barney as he enters, as well, a faint smile on her face as she nods in greeting to the man, before turning her eyes back toward Richard.

There's a full glass of water next to Remi. It's always been there, think nothing of it.

One of the first things Luther has done for his new position: get a nicer suit. It might just be for this meeting or the formal occasions, but right now the man is crisply dressed in a cool black with white shirt and black tie. Simple, straightforward. "Thank you," he says to the various offers of congrats and well wishes. "They're still gettin' my office set up, but if any of you have concerns, let me know." The man smiles lightly, glancing around to the various faces and latecomers. "Assumably, you can still leave me post-its in the mop closet. I'll find them."

Approaching Luther, Sera slides a full glass of water over to him and discretely occludes from the others’ view a mini Snickers bar behind it. She gives Luther a knowing smile and slips away otherwise wordlessly.

“As the only remaining employee that’s been with us since Redbird Security,” Richard admits, his tone a bit wry at that point, “I feel this is a promotion long overdue, honestly. I trust few people as much as I do Mister Bellamy with the security of the business and its employees.”

As Barney claps, he brings his hands together a few times as well before reaching out to touch a control on the table before him. The floating RAYTECH INDUSTRIES logo disappears, replaced with a three-dimensional map of Jackson Heights.

“You may have noticed,” he says, tongue-in-cheek, “That the surrounding area of Jackson Heights outside our fence is more or less a crumbling ruin, with little in the way of functioning infrastructure, and what is functioning is erratic at best. There are still people living here, though, and this is our city too - we want to do our part to bring it back.”

“And make a bit of a profit in the process, but that’s honestly secondary.”

“Valerie suggested this location specifically because of the good we could do here,” he says with a nod over her way, “So I’m going to open the floor to ideas on how we can best do that - whether ideas for community outreach and goodwill programs, or larger-term projects that we’ll have to bid for with the government.” And deal with Yamagato in a way that doesn’t create conflict between the two companies, of course.”

“So. Ideas, anyone?”

He might be head of security now, but Luther glances around with a short scan of faces and then suggests, "With the recent thefts of food in the Safe Zone and SESA still on the hunt, people are hurting for provisions. Maybe we ought to start… a soup kitchen or a secure depot." There's a beat as he recalls Ray's words about being a business, adding, "Sponsored by Raytech?"

“I do like the soup kitchen idea,” Kaylee comments lightly with a nod in Luther’s direction. “I was thinking the same thing, actually.” She grins as she quips, “Great minds think alike, I guess.”

Nails tap lightly on the table top, as Kaylee continues. “I think the area would get a boost if we can hire our laborers for these project locally in the Jackson Heights area. It would help the local economy, I believe.”

Barney's head nods to Kaylee's suggestion. "That was very much along the lines of what I was thinking as well. Hiring from the people around us, giving them jobs. We don't rebuild for them, but we do give them access to the resources they need to rebuild. Employ them. New Yorkers are proud. Many won't take a handout. But they will take a hand up." Barney pauses for a moment, sorting through his folders until he comes up with one marked Redbird. "I had also thought perhaps we could negotiate with the government. I am not sure how much is left of the Redbird assets. But if they could help perhaps we could rebuild Redbird and use it as a… secondary police force for the area around us. The police and SESA are stretched extremely thin. If we provide security it would go a long way in the public eye, especially those near us. The ones we want to employ. Creates loyalty. So umm yes." Barney's head nods a couple of times as if affirming his idea for himself.

"I don't know the company's exact assets and resources but I did draw up a plan for purchase and reconstruction of properties around us, and looked into possible government assistance, reimbursement and tax breaks if we were to put effort into rebuilding around us. Ummm. There's some profit involved, but it's long term, with the ownership of properties." Barney ducks his head a little bit looking almost a bit embarrassed by that statement. "I know that the company needs to make money and I.." He coughs once. "Well I may have gotten a bit carried away with my initial ideas and had to curtail them. But I think the proposal I've drawn up is more reasonable."

Blue eyes watch the conversation thoughtfully, but Jared is quiet as the conversation goes on. His smile is slow but genuine as Barney explains the work he's already done and he slants a glance at Richard. "I might attempt to steal him for legal research," he remarks in amusement, genuinely complimentary as he continues. "Fantastic initiative, Barney. Now that he's done about half of my department's job for them, all we'll need to do is make the purchases and pull the permits if you want to work on that avenue. Downtown should be relatively simple to work with — they want reconstruction as fast as possible, and they'd far rather have local companies and not more sovereign territory in New York." Like a true New Yorker, there is genuine disgust for the fact that that is even a thing.

"Rebuilding Redbird Security, if that's a route you want to take, may be a little more … problematic," the lawyer points out mildly. "There are people who still remember the bombing of the building and a little of Val's spin on the matter will bring some goodwill. The optics will be fine, but you'll be under some scrutiny from the folks who were never sure the business was legit to start with." He waves off the concern, however. "That part, you're covered — all the paperwork was in order then and it's in order now. It's mainly whether you want to draw their eyes on that one."

His gaze remains on Richard, and he tells the younger man mildly, "You should think about that part while you're traveling, perhaps. The trip may decide for you if you want to deal with that kind of headache."

Making her rounds to Odessa last, Sera pours her a glass of water and offers a smile. There is a single, individually-wrapped Reese’s peanut butter cup hidden from others’ view behind the glass. She wags her brows, and then slips behind Odessa and out of sight.

At the space reserved for Bella Sheridan, there is a half-full glass of water and a single individually-wrapped piece of black licorice.

Once she's sure everyone has a glass of water, Sera sets the pitcher down on a low cabinet at the far side of the conference room and folds her arms over her chest, lingering on the periphery unobtrusively.

“Absolutely. Our pool of labor isn’t enormous, so hiring workers on contract from the surrounding area, having the people who are going to be living around here working on the area not only builds good-will but ensures they’re not going to cut ends,” Richard crooks a slight smile at the last, “People care more about their work if it’s going to be in their own back yard, so to speak, I’ve found.”

“The soup kitchen idea could be a good one. It worked back in the day,” he admits, recalling times that he and Kaylee participated in that particular initiative, “And taking a page from the Ferry handbook isn’t a bad thought at all. We could use it to— introduce ourselves to the district, so to speak, more than as a large facility suddenly in the middle of the area.”

“Barney, Jared— “ He tips his head in a nod, “Work on that proposal, give me a feasibility document and we’ll see about getting that going in general. I want to make sure all the t’s are crossed and i’s are dotted, but I do want to make this happen. Bring Valerie in on it, since she’s the actual building expert we’ve got. By the time I get back next month I’m going to want this on my desk.”

“If you want to be technical we still have Redbird assets in play — our security force is, if you want to be quite technical, still called that on paper,” he admits, “A bit of… nostalgia on my part. It’d be complicated but I do like the idea. The trick would be convincing the other powers involved that it isn’t stepping on their toes.” A pause, “We may instead want to look into a contract with the budding police department to supply them with our non-lethal security equipment. Cops armed with Banshees aren’t as dangerous as a cop armed with a gun, when it comes down to a crisis, and a Banshee’s better at bringing someone down without requiring too much accuracy. I’ll put the ideas on the table and we can work on them.”

He gestures over to Barney and Valerie, then, “Which brings us to our next project — establishing hydroponics gardens to help create a local food supply that isn’t as reliant on external forces. Or aeroponics or whatever we decide to go with. We’ve been kicking around some ideas about maybe combining the two - hydroponics gardens on the rooftops of the buildings we repair, semi-autonomous - what do people think, any new ideas there, thoughts?”

Finding a glass of water and a mini Snickers bar in front of him, Luther glances to the chocolate candy square. He reaches with a hand, picking up the glass of water. The other hand, with pointer and middle finger, palms the candy away as the others speak.

Barney's hesitant proposal about Redbird Security gets a tilt of Luther's head, a furrowing of the man's brows in thought and consideration. Jared's added reminder is just that, the memory of finding the smoking hulk of Redbird's building creasing Luther's brow further. He takes a drink, using the moment to smoothe the wrinkles.

"We should set up a vetting process," Luther verbally pokes up, a sidelong glance slipped in Kaylee's direction before returning to watching the gathering. "And take into consideration those we outfit with Raytech, or Redbird,… solutions." He pauses on the last word, finding the feeling of it somewhat awkward. Corporate lingo. He rolls a shoulder. "Don't want everybody and anybody claiming to be affiliated."

On the query for thoughts on hydroponics, Luther glances back over to Valerie and Barney, a softer smile for the former, acknowledging nod to the latter. "Could be a nice place to take a break in, when it's done up nice. Like a mini Central Park. Or those gardens they have out in Yamagato."

Nodding her head as she listens, Kaylee glances at first her brother and then Luther as they speak, her face turning thoughtful. Reaching for the water — was that there before? — she takes a sip, before speaking up. “My question is, why make Redbird a separate thing? We ‘contract’ people out all the time, this could fall under the same blanket of Raytech. Just another brand under the Raytech name. Raytech Robotics, Raytech Laboratories…” A hand motions ar Barney since resurrecting an old company was his idea. “Raytech Security.” There is a bit of a shrug at the suggestion.

Her attention is then focused on Luther, her head inclining in his direction in a gesture what is something like respect for his thoughts.. “I agree with taking another look at our vetting process.” She then sweeps her gaze over the gathered folks, addressing them as she continues, “I asked him to look over our security and see where we can improve.” There is a mildly apologetic look to her siblings, since she hadn’t exactly run it past them first, last moment thought. “What we had worked when we were fairly small, but… since we got here, it feels like we are starting and will be going into a growth spurt. Which means protecting our secrets a little better.”

Indeed… and there are secrets to protect. Jared hasn't missed the fact that suddenly there's an executive storage room that's off limits. He's lived in close proximity to Richard (Cardinal) Ray for long enough to have a suspicion about what could be going on with that — although to be honest, he's hoping he's wrong. He would rather not see the younger man fall down the rabbit hole again. And Richard's begun to take on the somewhat wary, strained look that both he and Jared's daughter had a few years ago.

"The feasibility studies are already done, Richard," the lawyer says evenly. "I rolled those into the department's job when we decided to use this location. I rather expected you to move on the idea sooner or later," he comments drily. It's clear he knows the younger man better than perhaps even Richard might have anticipated. "I'll hand them off along with the research files on which locations in the immediate vicinity should be our first targets for reconstruction to Valerie." The older man shoots a grin toward Barney and then Val herself. "I'm pretty sure she's been quietly compiling a list of local construction companies who could benefit from the resources we want to spend."

Barney's eyes are a bit wide as Richard says he likes his ideas and Jared talks about borrowing him for legal research stuff and Richard is telling him to put together a more detailed proposal. He looks happy but more than a bit daunted at the concept. He's not used to doing stuff like this. He's used to being kept at middle management levels. Even being in this room is an experience for him. He does tip his head to Kaylee's point about rebranding Redbird. "Something I did consider. It's in my proposal actually. I thought it might be better to rename it and keep it to the Raytech brand. But that is a very good point, and something I forgot to mention. I got a little excited and ahead of myself."

He ducks his head a little bit, one hand habitually stroking over his beard, straightening it up a little bit. He looks between the others as the conversations continue, nodding his head to points that he agrees with, which is most of them. "Miss Ray and I have met and discussed it and we think both ideas hold a good deal of merit. Establishing a full hydroponics farm, but also making individual units available for rooftop gardens and the like. And building them into any buildings we help rebuild would be quite easy. I don't imagine the hunger issues are going to go away any time soon. The sooner people are fed and feeding themselves the better."

“Nostalgia,” Richard quips - though quite honestly - to Kaylee, shaking his head, “You’re probably right about proper branding, though, as much as I’m a sentimentalist at heart. I…”

He looks at Jared for a long moment, and then lets out a bark of laughter. “Of course you have. Alright. The three of you get this going, then, see about starting the process of getting approval from all appropriate bodies for reconstruction and hydroponics - Kaylee, Remi, let’s get working on some of those community outreach projects. Ygraine and Graeme have offered to work as neighborhood reps, as ‘outside people’ who live in the area and have an interest in it, which should help with outreach.”

“Gillian’d also mentioned the old zoo in the area, she thinks it might make a good area for farmland - maybe see about that location for the main food production center, it’s worth a thought,” he adds.

“Moving on…” He looks down the table towards the more science section, “Any updates on the spinal nerve reconstruction project or the Sureceptigene Optimadenoplasmid drugs— “ He barely has to glance down at his notes to pronounce that correctly!— “or are they still proceeding apace? If there’s nothing there, I’ll open the floor to any new proposals.”

At the mention of the spinal nerve reconstruction, Valerie looks up from her notes, having been nodding and letting everyone else talk to that point, but every time that project comes up— well— it’s somewhat personal, after all. They can almost hear the wheels on her chair squeak for a moment.

Luther fiddles with the candy wrapper in his hands, but keeps the sound to a minimum. Looking up with the talk of various projects going on, he takes mental notes of names and proposals with a curious interest. The mention of a spinal nerve reconstruction project, followed by something he definitely isn’t going to know how to pronounce, has him utter a questioning, “What, drug?” That’s really all he caught of that name.

Jared simply sagenods at Richard's bark of laughter. Because of course he already had those things in the works. Do you think this is his first rodeo dealing with New York and real estate?? A single brow quirks at the mouthful of a drug, but he has nothing to add to it and therefore leaves it be.

Des looks up from her notes finally and offers a quick smile around the room to her gathered colleagues. “I’ve sent my current batch of research out to Detroit for practical applications.” That is to say, she can’t build the cybernetic portions for her spinal reconstruction project herself - for all her diversity of talent, that isn’t one of them. Warren, however, can. “We’re making some really great strides,” is probably the nicest thing she’s said about the aforementioned scientist in a while, sorry, “and I think we’ll have some new prototypes soon.” An encouraging smile is offered to Valerie. They’re working on it, and Dr. Desjardins knows she doesn’t have to reiterate her passion for the project.

“In the meantime, I’ve been throwing myself headfirst into the Ess-Oh-Dee project.” People really only need to hear that in longform once. “That is… slow-going at best, I’m afraid. It wasn’t one of—” Des catches herself just short of saying it wasn’t one of my projects. She covers the misstep with a cough. “Excuse me. It wasn’t one of the projects I was familiar with, but I think I’m making decent progress. It’s just…” Her head tilts from one side to the other in a sort of seesaw motion. “Delicate. It’s crucial that we get everything just right before we move on to human trials.” Not that she’s testing on rats beyond making sure they don’t break down into cherry cobbler.

That would be bad.

“Beyond that… Everything’s proceeding well. As much as I wish otherwise, can’t rush science.” Des chuckles softly. “Well, not good science, anyway. If anyone promises you they can do this faster, buyer beware.” Science humor!

“It’s a drug regimen that’s been proven in the past to restore damaged or burn out abilities,” Richard offers over to Luther at his query - and there may be others in the room similarly curious, “Much of the research was lost in all the… ah, chaos that November— “ They all know which November he means. “— so we’re hoping to replicate it. A lot of Evolved pushed their limits during the war, and there aren’t a lot of therapies available to help them.”

He listens to Des’s report, a smile crooking up at the corner of his lips. “I’d rather we go slow and do this right than rush things and then deal with the consequences,” he observes wryly, “Keep me updated.”

“Alright, then, those are our current major projects right now… does anyone have any new projects they’d like to propose?”

Luther's reaction to the explanation of 'drug regimen' is a furrowing of his brow, the man looking dubious. "And how exactly are you going to test that?" There's a pointed look to the CEO, given their knowledge of Ray's specific circumstances in particular. "You're trying to inject people with serums for the sake of superpowers?"

Yes, he's putting it that way. And yes, there is the sound of protest behind it.

“What's so weird about that? It's how— ” Sera shuts her mouth, roooocks back on her heels, and starts for the door. She's a secretary, an office assistant, time to to do office assistant things, not open doors she can't close.

That woman is able to appear and disappear with the best disappearance act Jared's ever had the privilege of seeing, frankly. But when Luther's question pipes up and Sera's response is what it is, bright blue eyes narrow on Richard Cardinal — and oh yes, right about now, that boy is Richard CARDINAL and he knows it; that's a look Richard's only been on the receiving end of a couple of times over the years, usually accompanied by a swift Gibbs-slap to the back of Richard's head — his preferred method of saying straighten up and fly right, asshole, or I'ma hafta take stronger measures. He looks WAY too much like Liz about to lose her shit if Luther knows something that Jared doesn't. "Of course that's not what's going to happen here," the lawyer intones calmly. "Because if there were human experimentation going on in this company without all of the proper peer-reviews and paperwork, we would be the target of both governmental raids and shutdowns as well as a multitude of lawsuits that I have no intention of defending against. Right, Richard?"

“What.” Richard’s brows both go upwards as he looks between Jared and Luther with an openly confused expression on his face, hands to either side as if he were trying to explain a point but wasn’t sure exactly what he was explaining. “Do— it’s a medical procedure. We’re talking about something little different than a cure for a disease, and no we haven’t proceeded to human trials by any means, and we’ll certainly be following all appropriate laws and process when and if we reach that stage. It’s not like we’re talking about reproducing the Formula here— “

He heard that, Sera. Don’t think he didn’t.

“I mean, I have SESA agents wanting me to develop this procedure here— this isn’t some shady enterprise, it’s for people who blew their power out during the war, and otherwise. There are people out there that want help,” he says firmly, “Would you rather something legit and legal come out of our labs with all appropriate ethical guidelines and safety precautions, or would you rather they end up in alleyways with people like fucking Gregor experimenting on them?”

See? That's all the lawyer needed to hear. He gestures for Luther. "See? Of course we're not doing that," Jared comments, mollified. Lord help us, Richard Cardinal is never becoming that other asshole or someone's gonna rip his head off for him.

“I have no intention of testing something without a full clinical study.” Frankly, Des is a little offended, even if Jared seems to have his ire directed squarely at Richard on this matter. But she sighs heavily and, whatever she might have been about to add, she lets it die on her tongue. “I’m sorry if I gave you that impression,” she settles on instead.

Sera,” The name is just loud enough to cut over the small fiasco going on around the table. Kaylee points to an empty chair at the table. “Sit — please — and don’t be afraid to say something. You are human and have a voice.” Yeah, she might have caught something in the woman’s thoughts there…

“Des,” the telepath turns a look her way. “You’re fine. We know you wouldn’t do that.” Anymore. “There are others that I wouldn’t trust half as much,” Kaylee says, a glance going to Bella’s empty chair.

“And… Mr. Harrison.” As she addresses the company’s lawyer, the telepath’s chin tips up a bit in a challenge, even though her smile is pleasant. “Do you have so little faith in the rest of us?” A glance goes to Valerie. “Richard is CEO, but, “ Here she holds up a finger. “ there are three more of us who have an equal say in what is done and how it is done. This regimen could be a big one for us, as a company, and might help fund some of our more ambitious project. We have absolutely no intention… excuse the wording… of fucking this up.”

That said, Kaylee gives a sweep of her hand for people to continue.

If he had expected the flurry of words rising from the table like a disturbed flock of gamebirds in a bush, Luther doesn't show it. There's no aim of a verbal gun, no pull of the trigger to bring anybody down. "Sir," he says with a deferential nod to Ray, "My main concern's security and protection of the company, of the people in it. I'm concerned about this on a general level."

His gaze sweeps around the table, observing the faces, their reactions. "I… don't know who Gregor is. But, even if you got SESA backing you up, people are touchy about stuff that messes with SLC-Expressive abilities. Government's still a shaky subject for some. Companies working on stuff that…" He trails briefly, then shakes his head and continues, "Medical procedure or not, knowledge that Raytech is working on something like this, it'll draw attention. Unwanted. Just… be careful." Grey eyes settle briefly on Des on those last words, then Luther reaches for his glass of water.

"Anyway, wasn't meaning to cause a dust up." Even though that seemed to be the case. He focuses on the water glass, sipping at it to swallow down some of the concern sitting thick in his throat.

Richard brings one hand up to rub against his brow and temple, waiting a few moments for the hub-ub around the matter to die down with the assistance of cooler heads at the table. Then he lifts that hand palm forward.

“If anyone has concerns that I’m following the path of my alternate,” he says quietly but firmly, “They’re welcome to bring it up with me personally — in private — and we can discuss your concerns. Trust me, if we had some sort of nefarious human experimentation going on, I would not be bringing it up in a strategic meeting.”

Looking very tired all of a sudden, he looks around the table, “So does anyone have any proposals, or shall we close out the meeting?”

Itwasacomicbookreference,” Sera blurts out in a mumble with eyes wide and a grimace spread from ear to ear, not wanting to be the center of attention under any circumstances. She slouches back against the wall where she'd been standing, willing to follow most of Kaylee’s directive.

Red glasses are pushed up the bridge of Des’ nose by the side of one knuckle. “Actually, I was wondering if we’ve thought about sponsoring something at one of the schools. Maybe make a donation to a music program? Could be good PR?” It combines two things she feels strongly about, after all. Looking after children and music are topics close to her heart, even if she’s only got any talent for one of them.

Barney is more than slightly out of his depth with the talk of power rehabilitation involving drugs, not that the idea doesn't have merit, but he's not blind. He can see there are some serious undercurrents going on right now, his eyes darting to Sera, to Richard, then back around to Jared's as well. His lips part to speak, but then very wisely press back together with a subtle shake of his head. Nope nope nope. Bad idea. Keep quiet Barney. He likes helping people though so his head bobs along with what Richard says about helping people with burned out powers. "Who is Gregor?" He asks as his eyes dart to each face as everyone speaks.

There's a softly murmured Pinehearst at Luther's comments. Because they were running all sorts of nasty experiments. "I ummm feel like there's definitely more going on in this room than I'm privy to. But it seems to me that there are a lot of checks and balances in place in the company, including the siblings having equal say. Perhaps we could address private concerns in pri… alternate?" Poor Barney looks confused as he peers in Richard's direction and then back around the table, nodding his head to the man's statement about privacy. Business meetings are for business, not airing dirty laundry.

Draining the glass of water in hand, Luther sets the emptied glass down lightly. He's silent on Ray's words, apparently heeding the underlying command. Then, attention shifting to Des with her proposal, he nods slowly. Children, music, education, far more pleasant topics though not his purview. "Maybe could host something at the library," he suggests.

Jared offers Kaylee a grin. Because you know… .Warren? But he winks at the young woman and comments, "My faith in the lot of you is absolute. Hence why I was rather shocked that Luther knew something I didn't… but mostly I'm just messing with Richard. Bad form." He knows Richard's sensitive to that kind of doubt, even in jest. Turning his attention back to the table, he asks Luther, "Are you thinking about something like a children's story hour kind of event? With face-painters and balloon animals and what have you? They were popular when my daughter was small, but I didn't realize people still did those." Of course, there's been a war… so maybe they don't.

“I do have one small project I’m going to talk to Warren about on the phone. I was thinking that, before we can get the reconstruction project going, we should probably make my version of wheelchair available to those within the Safe Zone who might have handicaps like me.” She knows there are some who exist, and frankly, her fancy ass wheelchair is pretty amazing, can even go up stairs when needed, just slowly. It also fits in doors and has some other features that would make it easy for people—

Who have access to electricity to charge it at least. They’d already covered most of her points with parks and gardens, so she doesn’t feel the need to add on those right now. It’s what she’s going, but it isn’t something they need to do much for. Just Warren all the way in Detroit.

A glance goes up to Jared when Luther hears his name mentioned, and the man furrows his brow at the other. “I don’t know about that sort of stuff, but. Library’s always been a good place for kids, learning, that sort of thing,” he says evenly. Gaze turning to Des, he nods in the woman’s direction to note, “It’s her proposal. Figure she’s got a better idea of what she wants.” His voice is kept low so as to not ratchet up any possible annoyances from moments ago. At Valerie’s speaking up, he quiets to listen, and looks impressed and thoughtful at her project note.

Richard tips his head towards Barney slightly as the man speaks, but he doesn’t elaborate on the meaning of the enigmatic comment. One hand comes up to rake back through his hair as the others talk, and he straightens. “I’m sure that we could work on something in conjunction with the library,” he allows, “Brainstorm some ideas and we’ll see what we can get up to - maybe we could send some salvage teams out to try and find some musical instruments, if we can’t buy them.”

He nods over to Valerie, “Good thought. I think your use of it has brought it well past the testing stages - so we’ll see about bringing it to market, with charitable contributions in mind as well for those who can’t afford them.” They can’t do everything for free. They’re a corporation!

“Okay. If nobody else has anything — I’m going to be taking a brief leave of absence shortly, Kaylee will handle things in the meantime if I’m needed. Meeting adjourned - go, go, escape while there’s still donuts in the break room.”

There may or may not actually be donuts. It was a joke.

A grateful nod is sent in Luther’s direction when he credits her for her suggestion. Des smiles, which grows bigger as she turns her attention to Sera, starting to get up from her seat and gather her notes. No need to tell her twice to escape. “We’ll think on it. C’mon, Sera. Let’s go see if the boss is a liar or not,” she suggests with a twinkle of mischief in her eye.

A smile and a shake of her head is offered to Richard. “I’m good,” Kaylee comments as she stands. “If y’all need me, you know where my office is. Sera has my contact if I am out of the office.” With that she gathers up her own paperwork and heading out for her office, adding. “Congrats again, Luther,” as she passes him, giving his shoulder a pat. And a very un-corporate like half hug to her sister.

“Or we could give it for a lesser price to those within the Safe Zone, and release it at a profit Worldwide,” Valerie suggests, giving a gesture with her pen. The amount living within the Safe Zone would be very limited, but a lot more would be living outside. “It would support the community while still giving us a chance to make a profit on them.”

And to be fair, those who live outside the Safe Zone were far more likely to be able to afford them if they wanted them.

But that is all she has, and she waits for the meeting to come to a close, as she hugs her sister back with a little less half-ness to it. After all, physical contact is something she doesn’t get a lot of, so when she does— she intends to enjoy it.

But she’ll also probably be one of the last ones out of the room, as her wheelchair whiiiiirls backwards away from the table, showing off some of the cool features already in the way it automatically adjusts its height.

Luther pushes to his feet once the meeting is adjourned, nodding once more to Kaylee for her congrats. “Race you to them,” he challenges Des and Sera for the mention of donuts in the breakroom, although it’s obvious he’s not going to win that one. He might just be going for the coffee instead. A note goes to Richard as he heads out, “Boss. Stay safe.” And then the man is out to resume his duties. It’s still office hours, after all.

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License