Right Arm


asi5_icon.gif huruma4_icon.gif

Scene Title Right Arm
Synopsis Asi comes seeking the support of the other arm of Wolfhound leadership after the way her conversation with Avi went several days before.
Date June 28, 2021

The Bastion

Breathe out, breathe in.

Centered, Asi lifts a hand to rap her knuckles quietly on the door of Wolfhound's empath Commander. Only a beat passes before she leans on the handle and pushes the door in. "Do you have a moment?" she asks as she steps one foot in past the food's edge. She's not dressed to be leaving the Bastion, the jacket she normally wears doffed. A black v-necked shirt of three-quarters sleeve matches her boots worn with slacks.

Part casual, part business, all seriousness, it would seem.

"Typically." The answer comes at a softer volume, unsurprised at the arrival at anyone at her cracked door. Keeping an open door policy is her standard; not that many can really surprise her with an intrusion anyway. It helps to be accessible.

"Welcome back." Huruma continues casually, raising her brows and eyes away from the document lingering on her laptop's screen. It's the tone of a hello after someone returns after a weekend vacation. Sometimes it is perfectly fine to vanish. The sleeveless jumpsuit she wears may not be considered typical business attire, yet with the black leatherette fabric's straight-edged tailoring, it somehow seems right.

"Thanks," Asi answers, out of a lack of knowing what else to say. She's slipped back in to sleep but been scarce the last two days, not of a strong desire to bring any of her issues and the related discoveries to light within Wolfhound. There's plenty of them, though. And ultimately, they aren't all ones that can be faced alone.

"I talked at the end of last week with Avi about a potential job. I could tell the concept of it overwhelmed him," she explains while quietly shutting the door behind her, "so I wanted to walk through the ask with you— see if the proposed run is really too much." As she approaches the desk, her hands clasp together behind her back. "My intent would be to keep the details scarce in knowing until it's time to go," which isn't necessarily unusual for any other job—

"But this is a job I would be bringing to Wolfhound directly, on my own behalf as well as the behalf of Kaylee Thatcher and several others."

Huruma allows Asi her moments of introduction, listening just as intently as she studies the younger woman; a hand lifts to gesture Tetsuyama to the chairs seated at the desk's fore, offering one should she want it.

"I feel as if some things may have been lost in translation when Avi spoke to me, but that isn't exactly… rare." She does permit herself the small curve of lips into a smirk. "I did my best."

"From what I gather, it's directly in relation to the crash you and others were involved in? Secondarily, Yamagato and the aftermath of Ziptie." The latter seems to certainly get a small glower from Huruma's features, though it passes quickly enough. "I have the impression from Epstein that what you need is potentially radioactive. For us, that is…"

But she's still listening, so here they are.

When Asi takes a seat, she doesn't bother smiling through the uncomfortable truth that what she asks very well could be damning material. It's not her, and it's not helpful. She folds her hands in her lap. "It is," she answers first, "directly related. We have in hand details of a facility related to our abduction. It's one responsible for alterations made to our bodies. More specifically, needing made still, so as to avoid another episode like the one I suffered in January."

The one that killed Kimiko Nakamura.

"The facility is located in the heart of Europe, and our goals would be twofold. Retrieve material assets in the form of what's needed to prevent cerebral degradation caused by how our bodies have been changed, and retrieve a critical human asset in the form of one technopath being held at the facility, who should have … additional information that may require us to move and act immediately from there."

Her jaw closes with a click of her back teeth as she pauses, disliking the way she's pitched that. "He's suspected to have intelligence on where our original physical bodies are, and if he has that knowledge, there will be an impetus to act and retrieve them before our captors can put an end to them," Asi explains, meeting Huruma's eyes. "Ideally, it's a quick smash and grab in both cases, because I don't know that we'll be able to pull off an infiltration successfully in the first half of that. It's an isolated research facility, but they likely have private security onsite— possibly Qings, based on what we saw in Toronto. International incident exposure aside, there's plenty of unknowns factoring into a risk evaluation for this."

"But it's life or death, when it comes to the health of us victims— and when it comes to the people we were before this happened," she submits calmly. With a slow exhale, she says more quietly, "So, I'm submitting this for leadership's consideration, to weigh and decide participation. Compensation can be pooled from the victims' families, if nothing else. This will be a costly endeavor in fuel alone, before we even begin considering other factors. But if Wolfhound will pass on this, then I need to know quickly." Her hands part, and it's now she gives a faint smile. "Because one way or another, I have to move on this, and quickly."

With the open computer forgotten, Huruma gathers a pen and pulls closer a writing pad set atop her desk. It's an almost idle movement, undisturbing of Asi's explanations as she goes on, notes forming under Huruma's hand while she listens. Given the scatter of script, it seems to be either some kind of shorthand, or something stream-of-consciousness, an attempt to put thoughts as they come without much looking.

This goes for as long as Asi speaks, and for a touch longer still. The ballpoint lingers on the paper at the finish, blotting gel faintly at the last. Asi knows that nothing always goes ideally, so the frankness on the actions needed and the ramifications is appreciated in silence.

"I understand." Huruma's mouth adopts a firmer line, the edges of her eyes narrowed to the notes she's taken down. "In the interest of transparency," She looks up thoughtfully, tongue wetting lips and voice lowered. "The technopath. Who is it?"

"If his participation in this situation were to be perceived as a threat at large- -" Which given the array of people who had been kidnapped… "I find that the Americans more readily insert themselves into other countries for such transgressions. And you are right- - the unknowns here - - " Huruma's expression skirts that of a wince, her nails drumming along the writing pad below. "Do you have the intel you would need, on this first facility?"

Huruma's contemplativeness on the topic puts Asi at ease, her tightwire of an emotional calm preserved throughout the consideration of the topic at hand. She inclines her head slightly when asked for the technopath's identity, a ripple of complicated feeling caused by how she adjusts the metaphorical counterbalance she mentally holds onto here— the knowledge this isn't just for her.

"You're familiar with him. Colin Verse, who was held by Humanis First— and now by these bad actors." She manages to keep her voice even as she points out, "It was his intervention that caused the chain of custody in our altered bodies to break— for the plane crash to happen in the first place. For all the ill he's ever been involved with unwillingly, he's proven determined to stop what's happening to us, and help us save ourselves."

Her lips purse, eyes going to her lap before she looks back up. A powerful but quietly harbored emotion is pushed back to her center. "If it's more attractive for Wolfhound to consider this operation with the goal of collecting the bounty placed on him when we're done, then that's a condition I'll have to accept. Whatever it takes to rescue him and us from these people."

Asi lifts her head as she segues to answering that last question. "We have the precise geolocation of it. It's in the Czech Republic. Further details on the facility are hopefully forthcoming— a technopath known as S.attva is investigating on our behalf. As soon as more is known, we'd of course share it."

Verse. That they do know him is fleetingly comforting, somehow; it means also that they can more accurately theorize on what his actions could be going forward. What otherwise keeps him cooperative, Huruma has a few suspicions- - none of which she voices. Any other errant thoughts on the nature of Colin are set aside.

"Attractiveness isn't the crux so much as plausibility." Would that she could pick and choose, Huruma wouldn't hesitate quite as much here. A brow raises to Asi as the empath keeps one finger quietly on the other woman's emotional artery. "The more reasons we find to step in, the easier it should be to do just that and dodge undue blowback. Say that we have him- - the time frame on moving on his intel, how short would it be?"

The mention of plausibility over attractiveness gives rise to a faint flicker of hope in Asi, but she bites her tongue, merely giving a short tone of understanding. To the question she's posed, she can only shake her head. "Without being dramatic, immediate. The moment they learn one facility is compromised, we don't rightly know how long it will take for the others to be notified. We have to assume we need to move immediately to the next rescue."

"If we had more time to set this up," she laments, "I would prefer to target the Czech facility using infiltration to give us a longer runway on turning around to strike this second facility. Sneak our way in, and grant us better ability to plan the second attack… but we're against the clock, both between the victims' continued deterioration over time and the chance of them flushing our bodies."

Her eyes shift off of Huruma in thought before she cycles back. "From what I was told, though, security systems are offline thirty minutes each day for maintenance. That's another potential window we could slip in under. Get in and get out before they fully realize what's happened." Her head begins to shake again. "I'll need to get confirmation from the contact who stopped by last week what time of day this happens by, but that's a potential foothold there."

Asi doesn't tend to understate, so the immediacy she portrays is something that Huruma takes at face value.

"I may have some time to get in touch with some logistical contacts if we were to go." And even for a non-empath, she clearly wants to. But this isn't just her, and this isn't something they can brute force. Finesse, an old speed. "And some diplomatic ones in bordering countries, if need be." Huruma's thoughts seem to venture onward, while her attention remains on Asi. The pen in her hand takes down several more short notations, the sound against paper a murmur.

"Are we presuming he would assist in his own liberation? Do you have some way of interacting with Verse from out here? This S.attva?" She tests the name in her mouth, as new as it is.

"S.attva, yes," the former technopath answers of the conglomerate. Even if she's less enthused about this being's involvement, he's— it's?— at least nearby and answering. Her heart twists in her chest as she moves on to the other technopath mentioned, something raw playing out in silence under her skin. Care. Worry. Something precious, potentially lost.

"Verse should help us as soon as we're close enough. Communicating with him from afar, though, seems impossible. They have him locked in. From S.attva's point of view, he's been so inactive in the greater world so as to be seen as dead." She shakes her head once. "He was able to slip me a message when the crash happened, and able to send one in the form of the facilities' coordinates at the end of last week. But return messages— not possible."

She looks back up to Huruma, reading into her willingness to begin this ancillary planning to support their travel. "This means you'll consider it, though?"

The fortunate difference between the two Wolfhound commanders plays out most in moments like this one; in part, Huruma sees what she needs to know, rather than pressure for the words. Traditional communication with Verse may be out, but checking the coordinates given to them is the least they can do if he made such a risk.

"I will. You can send me whatever you have once this other source gets it to you, and Epstein and I will go over it more finely. I want to say that the government won't be disinterested in the potential here, and that's… more or less good for us."

Hope sparks into a flame in Asi's chest, one guarded carefully and shaped down to something capable of surviving a marathon haul and potential disappointment rather than something that will blind her and flare out quickly. Nonetheless, tension in her shoulders visibly eases and she nods gratefully. Deeply, even, out of long-instilled cultural habit.

"On behalf of all of the victims, I'm grateful." Her head shakes slightly. "Wolfhound's help will be invaluable. With luck, we can give you more to make this look … advantageous to pursue. If we loop our assigned agents from the DoE, that organization may be able to provide their blessing for this, in whatever strange and powerful shape that might take." They had a fascinating, unilateral amount of power behind them, after all.

"Thank you, Huruma," Asi repeats, because it bears being stated as clearly as possible.

Eternal flames are delicate things, even when kept in shelter. Asi's candle of hope is something that Huruma is careful to watch, a silent sort of vigil making sure it doesn't waver here.

"I'm familiar with obscure political dynamics enough to agree— get them involved and refer them back here, hm?" Huruma drums her fingers faintly against her desk, mouth firming with a slow exhale. "You can thank me if we are able to do something." And provided that, when they do something.

"Will do," Asi agrees, coming to her feet rather than risk overstaying her presence. "Agent Reeves is relatively easy to get in contact with, so with hope, she or her people will be in touch soon."

"I have confidence things will come into place," she relays as she resets the position of her chair.

Or perhaps instead of confidence it's just that hope again, attempting to be enough of a light to guide and direct them all by. If not, it simply speaks to the high regard she's come to have for Wolfhound and it's determination.

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