Red Pill Deep Rabbit Hole


skyler_icon.gif alia_icon.gif

Scene Title Red Pill, Deep Rabbit Hole
Synopsis Casing Redbird does not go as planned for someone.
Date December 11, 2010

Redbird Security: Main Lobby

There's a sharp, professional feel to the main lobby of the building. The carpet is a deep maroon underfoot, the walls an off-white cream that doesn't glare too brightly beneath the recessed lighting in the ceiling. Half a dozen chairs upholstered in a sandy light brown sit against one wall beneath a painting, a print of a Thomas Brill that shows the ruins of Midtown covered in vines and greenery as seen from the rooftop of the Deveaux building. The receptionist's station takes up almost an entire wall on the right side of the lobby, guarding the hallway that leads back into the building's offices. Behind and above the desk, the logo for Redbird Security Solutions hangs on the wall in glossy black.

The central hall continues the same carpet and wall colors to a number of doors. There are four offices, a restroom done in shades of blue and pale sand tones, and a comfortable employee lounge with attached kitchenette. An open doorway in the main lobby reveals a flight of upward stairs, and there's a locked door at he end of the central hall that guards the basement steps.

Oh look, a bum. Yes, a genuine homeless vagrant, complete with the characteristic funk, is sitting in the lee of the Redbird building. Security cameras? Well, actually, that one's blown a fuse, and that other one just seems to have a hitch in its panning arc, and it doesn't seem to want to look where our vagrant is sitting.

Of course, Sky is being sneaky. While huddling and looking like she's gearing up for a cold night, what she's really up to is listening to the big computer in the basement. Just letting the machine's data go by, waiting to see if she can catch an encryption key. Bah. Frustrating. Ten years ago… well okay, ten years ago, her personal computing power didn't match the iphone in her pocket, and could no more brute-force crypto like this than it could fly to the moon. Still. Sky mutters to herself something about needing to invest in some Tesla boards and some portable box to put them in. But hey, you live on the street and talk to yourself, who's likely to notice?

The malfunctioning electronics catch notice. Particularly as they worked just fine a day ago. Alia looks about at the area 'not' covered. And sees the 'bum'. She slides her hand up by her neck, behind her backpack, her jacket and space invader-themed scarf keeping her warm as she moves carefully. "Evening." She says it simply.

Alia has no reason to be sneaky. This is, well, not quite her 'home turf'. More like 'home away from home turf'. And she has an idea that something isn't right here even without overhearing the talking to oneself. Alia lets her awareness drift over the woman, a simple digital probe as the woman comes inside range, her ability going to work to slice through encryption without much of a problem.

Skyler blinks and looks up, separating herself from the building computer really quickly, even though she can still feel it at the periphery of her senses, begging to be touched more. She looks Alia over curiously. "Aren't you a little short for a storm trooper?" she asks casually. She stands up slowly, a little stiffly. But despite the casual banter, she's watching Alia through those sunglasses. Live bait, it occurs to her, somewhat belatedly, may not have been the best approach here.

Alia smirks. "Han Solo, Am not." There's a look of humor in Alia's eyes as she watches Skyler's movements warily. "You here for reason." It's a statement of fact, with all the extra words cut out. An eyebrow raises at the iPhone she senses on the 'bum'. The 'almost factory clean' phone. With… Well now, That's a new entry for Rule 34 for Alia. She shifts her weight a little. "Alia. you are?"

Skyler chuckles. "Your line is 'I'm Luke Skywalker. I'm here to rescue you." Sky watches the raised eyebrow and gives her phone a quick caress. Activity in the last 10 seconds. Iiiinteresting. "Skyler. I fix cellphones and shit. You here to get something fixed, or chase me off your lawn?" Oh good. It's a relaxed meeting. The leather straps and tazers version of her immediate future might not come to pass. Sky isn't as casual as she's pretending, and the close observer might note that despite the chilly day, she's starting to sweat a little. If only it were that warm.

Alia raises an eyebrow as she senses the 'check' of the phone. Interesting. That explains a lot. "Off the Lawn. To talk. Away from building." She says it with a clipped tone. You might notice she doesn't use much extra words. And it isn't that she's tense, as much as she's seemingly slightly cheesed off as she very quickly figures out what is likely going on. Maybe not HOW, but WHAT seems to be obvious, as she gets a distracted look a moment then focuses firmly on Skyler again. Her hand is still seemingly tucked under her backpack, near her neck. An odd place for it to be.

Skyler does make note of the hand under the backpack. She also makes note of Alia's cell phone and its call list. The data goes through at 45mb/second into her brains, and from there into her iphone. It's habit. Almost automatic. Sky tries to justify it to herself that the other woman already knows she's a technopath, and already has done exactly the same thing to Sky's own phone. She nods at Alia's words. "Sure." She draws her hands behind her back, looking chagrined. Well, that, and behind her back is where her pistol lives. Still. We're outside, right? It's not likely this is "shoot and hide the body, right? Right? Well. If it is, at least she won't be the one who brought only a cell phone to a gun fight. "So um. Since it's all cold and everything, can we cut through the bullshit and stop pretending we don't know we're both technopaths here?" Boooy, this is stranger than she thought, meeting her own kind.

Alia smirks, and the next move is practiced and rather smooth… she didn't bring a cellphone. She brought a rapier, which clears the sheath hiding under the backpack and points threateningly enough at soft neck. "Yes. My cameras." she motions with her free hand. "And my network. Poking through stuff." She raises an eyebrow. "Why?", even as she motions with her head towards the door. It seems Alia agrees it's too damn cold to be outside.

Skyler looks down at the rapier. "A sword? Are you kidding me?" Now, she's seen olympic fencing on TV, and just how fast those people can go. And… at this range… especially in her gamer nerd experience, a sword is as deadly and considerably easier to block with than, say, a .357 magnum revolver like she's got. "Mostly to see if someone like you was here, to be honest." Sky is trying to do that slow fade thing, get her soft, squishy neck away from that wickedly sharp looking edge. "I figured if not, maybe your company might hire me." She looks at the sword again. "I gotta say I don't have your style though.

Alia follows right along with the fade, matching step for step, leading to the door. "Bull." She calls it right on the surface. "Application easier to get inside." She motions to the camera. "Without loss of equipment."

Skyler glances up at the camera that's "stuck." She restores its natural firmware. "It's not lost. The one blew a fuse. I just fixed the other one. And be honest, would you apply somewhere with our kind of ability without casing the place first? Be nice if it turned out to be a front for Humanis first or something, wouldn't it?" Sky's still trying to fade here, now rather concerned with being stabbed by accident if she stops.

Alia conintues to follow, matching pacing perfectly. Alia is obviously GOOD at what she does. "Research? Yes. Case? No. Get caught." She notes this with a taste of irony.

Skyler shakes her head. "From what, public sources? Well, you know what? I did that. I got the big zip from your company here. This Cardinal guy pops into existence a couple years ago, and nobody knows from where. Next thing you know he's getting some pretty impressive contracts. Does that smell dirty to you? Because it sure got my whiskers twitching." Sky winces the moment those words leave her mouth. Realtime. In person. No Rabbit references, remember? Sheesh. She draws her arm up, intending to protect her throat, and stops backing up. "Come on. You don't live in our world without being more paranoid than that."

The fencer pauses as her quarry stops moving back. "True." Alia didn't care to think about the scar hiding under her scarf, that proves how close one can come to dying when getting fired. She pauses, then shrugs, and sheathes the sword. "Inside. Get an application. And coffee."

Skyler blinks. Okay, that wasn't she expected. Does she take the bait and go inside? Does she politely decline? Clever. Lady-of-few-words has called her bluff. Well… okay. She is here to gather information after all. She slowly draws a hand up to scratch the back of her head. "Um. Sure. Okay." she says a little sheepishly. Sky follows Alia in, assuming Alia leads. "Um… quick question, and don't take this as disrespect, but how old are you?"

Skyler can process evasions like that easily enough. Her iphone flickers to life and heads to wikipedia. "So… nineteen, since the introduction of 2g in Finland? Or are you going by the invention date? Me, I came in three years after VAX-VMS were released." Sky has to keep herself from getting too comfortable with Alia. She tries, at least. "I've never met another one of our kind, you know? Sorry if I'm being all weird about it."

Alia shrugs a little. "Lot of us, seems." She says simply. "Twenty-Two." She keeps it simple. "Born seventy-eight. Thirty-Two." She fills in for Skyler. She smiles and offers a seat once they are in the front office, as she digs out a clipboard and an application form from behind the desk…at the same time, the local network seems to shimmer as Alia seemingly puts the processors to work. One of them sends a file to the desktop on the desk, which Alia opens to page through even as she hands the clipboard over.

Skyler considers keeping an eye on what Alia's doing, but that really would be an unfriendly act. But. But. She does peek into the monitor's circuitry, since it too is digital and a computer, and watch what Alia's looking up. As if she can't guess. She takes the clipboard and starts filling out the application. Pause. Copy data from the monitor. Dump it into her iphone. Fill out another line. Repeat. Sky paces a little, and the shrewd might notice she's working her way out of what she thinks is rapier range, not realizing just how far a proper thrust extends that nasty sharp blade. "Are there?" She asks, as she flips between tasks. "Shit, I was hoping we were unusual. That complicates things."

Alia shrugs. "not 'common'". The research is pretty obvious. It's actually all on public network. Apparently all the OTHER private storage systems on the network shut themselves off. She's pulling up info on 'big names' in online hacking from that early age. ONE of those names sticks out due to a phone call her voicemail recieved while she was busy knocking YouTube out of existance on the eighth. Two and two makes four. "Rabbit hole goes deep?"

Skyler freezes. There is one thing in the world that must never happens, and that is that she, Skyler Martin, must never be connected to White Rabbit. Ever. And that has just happened. "I'm sorry." she stammers. "What did you say?" She's trying to cover it up, but the pallor, if nothing else, probably gives it away.

Alia smirks. "Right age. Has to be in the area. Called me last month. From phones I set up." She pauses a moment. "WHich means Surech Center still has me on file. Sadly." She shakes her head. "Mad Hatter looking for you?" She asks simply, mistaking the palor for someone who is on the run.

Skyler sighs and lets the clipboard and pen fall to the table. "One of those spur of the moment decisions, you know?" Sky runs her fingers through her hair. "Something I tried to put behind me, but it still crops up at weird moments. You may be the only person on the planet that knows other than me." And Sky does do a quick poke around for monitoring circuits - cameras, microphones, things like that. "I tried to get away from the whole scene, from computers for a long time. But you can't anymore. You just can't." Sky gnaws on a knuckle. "You know how it is, right?"

Alia smiles. There's a LACK of microphones. Cameras, yes. Several, leaving very few blind spots in the room. She nods. "Yeah. Phones. TVs. Everything." She sighs. "Makes quiet hard?"

Skyler nods. "Makes keeping your fingers out of them hard." Sky looks down. "Theoretically. What I should be doing right now is shooting you, to make sure you don't ever tell anyone what you know. I was a naughty girl when I was your age, and FRONTLINE and the DHS aren't likely to respect little distinctions like statutes of limitations." Sky picks up the clipboard again and fills it out with a shakey hand. "What is it this place is really about? Since I probably can't bring myself to shoot you unless you threaten me, I probably need to work with you."

Alia shrugs. "The future." She says simply, then blushes. "FRONTLINE…" She shakes her head. "Fun armor. Easy to program." She says it with an impish grin.

Skyler's lips curl into a faint smile at that. "I haven't gotten that close. So… can you be any more specific without having to hire or shoot me? I mean… a lot of folks around here have visions of the future. You pays your money and you takes your choice, right?" She stops writing and sets the pen down and watches her hand shake a while. "I took a chance with the White Rabbit phone call. I stood by and did nothing for so long. And now I want to do something. So what future? What hope?"

Alia sighs. "Can't hire. Petyon would." She states it simply. And already has it in mind to call him in the near future to inform him of the rather interesting twist of events. "… The Future. Making a better one." She frowns. "Remember the Eighth?" She asks simply, as if arguing how much to tell herself.

Skyler nods. "Remember remember the eighth of November. It was actually a pretty quiet day for me. And it wasn't my fault, which is, in retrospect, unusual. What were you and yours up to on the eighth?" she asks. "Now that you know what I was up to."

Alia looks to Skyler a moment, then smiles. "Others? Dunno. Programmed some jamming that worked TOO well. Then, uh… YouTube not Online."

Skyler says, "Now that's interesting." Sky says, frowning a little. "Because I've heard a variant of that story from someone else. A guy with a very nice car. He didn't nail Youtube, but he did the broadcast media, citywide internet, and all that, or so he told me. It's nice that everyone's so civic minded." Sky rubs her hands together. "I'm starting to feel like I really have taken the red pill, and that my conspiracies know each other.""

Alia twitches. "Warren? Hardware. Me. Software." Do they know eachother? Yes. Do they TRUST eachother? Not completely. Albeit, he did look over her diagram for one of the odd modifications to Alia's rapier.

Skyler nods. "Warren. Nice guy, and he came by Suresh right after I started the phone call and gave me the "Come with me if you want to live." treatment. How well do you know him?" Well hell. Right here is the information she was sent to find out.

Alia coughs softly. "Warren? … Does solid work. civic minded… not sure. Other employers of him… questionable."

Skyler quirks an eyebrow. "We should talk about that at some point. Unfortunately, I need to get home before curfew. I am interested in knowing more about your organization, and maybe signing on. Since you know the big secret and all." Sky shakes her head. It's mostly true what she just said. It'd have been nice if Warren had briefed her that the people she was gathering info on weren't total strangers to him. That annoys her. And even if she does stay on, asking nicely? Social engineering in its least unpleasant form.

Alia shrugs as she takes the clipboard. "… Talk more. D-period-crypt. Find me." She grins.

Skyler quirks that eyebrow again. "D.Crypt. D.Crypt. Now that's a name I've not heard in a long time. A long time." She's aping Sir Alec Guinness there. "Well, not that long." She takes a shaky breath. "I'll be in touch." She glances at the screen Alia was using earlier and it goes black, followed by the characteristic vertical flow of green characters. Blanks again, and types out "Follow the White Rabbit." in plain, old fashioned green phosphor characters. Then goes back to whatever it was doing.

Alia smirks a little, but makes no comment. "Be well." she says simply as she picks up the surprisingly non-digital phone on the desk. Yes they still make them. rare buggers though, and she dials a number.

Skyler listens to the analog signal as she gets up to walk out. "You be well too."

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