Scattered And Broken


aman_icon.gif gates_icon.gif kaylee6_icon.gif

Also Featuring:

harris_icon.gif luther_icon.gif yi-min_icon.gif

Scene Title Scattered And Broken
Synopsis Kaylee leads a team to secure the wreckage of the mysterious aircraft involved in her abduction.
Date October 18, 2020

A belching plume of black smoke rises up into the morning sky. Flecks of white and steel are scattered like shards of a broken plate across a grassy stretch of rocky fields. The ground is ploughed in a miles-long furrow cut by the flame-shrouded fuselage of what was once an absolutely massive jet. Fire trucks parked close to the wreckage spray a constant stream of water and fire-suppressant foam down on the debris.

A half-dozen vehicles marked with the shield of the Canadian Security Intelligence Service rest just beyond the fire trucks, while a perimeter of Canadian military keep the zone quarantined for a mile radius. There is not a cloud in the sky that is not the ashen, sooty black-gray of smoke. There is not a bird in sight. The sky is clear, the sun is shining.

Agent Gates squints against the sunlight, lips parted to reveal his teeth in a grimace. “Did you read the initial medical report?” He asks of the fellow agent standing next to him. Michel Harris is sensibly wearing sunglasses, though still squinting against the bright light of morning.

“Ms. Miller’s file was…” Harris isn’t sure how to finish his sentence.

Harrowing.” Gates chooses and Harris doesn’t disagree. “Thoughts?”

Harris raises his brows over the frames of his sunglasses and shakes his head, unable to tear his eyes away from the crash. “That many people, most of them visibly famous or well-connected in the government, abducted from their homes, stripped of their abilities, and they wind up here?”

“Doesn’t feel right, does it?” Gates posits, crossing his arms over his chest.

No, sir.”

“Do you think this could be a breach?” Gates asks, slowly looking over to Harris who offers a helpless shrug in response.

“They’re themselves. But that doesn’t mean this wasn’t something that happened somewhere else and we have a…” Harris waves one hand in the air, trying to grasp at his idea, “…an overlay-like situation.”

“Maybe.” Gates says. He doesn’t sound convinced.

“Get Bright out here,” Gates says, starting off in the direction of the wreckage across the grass.

“Sir?” Harris asks at his back.

I want to know what we’re dealing with.

Three Months Later

Rural Municipality of Reynolds
Manitoba, Canada//

October 18th
3:37 pm Local Time

There is nothing within at least a ten mile radius of the crash site. This stretch of rural Manitoba is desolate populated by densely rolling hills of scrub grass and a few small trees, glacial rocks just below the surface, and a scar in the Earth miles line terminating in the tarp-covered wreckage of a massive cargo jet.

The crash happened just on the eastern outskirts of the Sandilands Provincial Forest, a sparse woodland spreading across much of southeastern Manitoba. In the late afternoon with the sun setting and the treeline creating shadow, visitors to the crash site can go unseen. It is dark here, cold and uninviting. The lower the sun gets, the colder and more uninviting the area becomes.

Much of the smaller wreckage looks to have been cleared away, but the tail, fuselage, and nose of the shattered plane still lie where they fell, scattered apart by a thousand feet each just a mile away from the forest’s edge. But the site is not abandoned.

Tall construction lights loom over the tarp-shrouded wreckage, not illuminated yet but promising that the site does not go dark during nighttime hours. There’s only one vehicle on-site, a single black unmarked SUV. There’s flashlights moving through the wreckage beneath the tarps.

This is still an active crime scene.

“Well… cleaner then I thought it would be,” Kaylee says in surprise, from her spot leaning between the front seats to look at the scene beyond. While she’s dressed for business, in her black power suit - that might fit a bit snugger then she remembers - and Raytech red under shirt, tired eyes are hidden behind a pair of mirrored sunglasses, because despite all the medication they gave her, sleep was spotty. A pair of wireless bluetooth earbuds are tucked into her ears, pumping out quiet noise in an attempt to trick her mind.

It’s worked so far to calm her nerves and ease some of her anxieties.

“Okay…” Kaylee gives a resigned sigh, “Showtime y’all.” She glances to those in the front seat, before sitting back again.

Kaylee pushes the sunglasses up to rub at tired eyes, as she pulls her thoughts together. “So to reiterate. We are here for Raytech. The Canadian government is looking for contractors to move the plane and — lucky us — no matter the country, the government is slow as… well… you know.” The last bit is waved away as unimportant, pulling off her sunglasses and tucking them in an inner jacket pocket.

There is a glance to those sitting on each side of Kaylee, offering a crooked smile. “We’re taking a look at the site to see what we are going to need to move that airplane to an undisclosed location so that our government and Canada’s government can crawl all over it.” Leaning down, Kaylee unzips a bag at her feet and fishes out a tablet.

“This is thankfully, not my first government contract.”

She looks at a sticky on it as she talks. “So for this… y’all are part of my contract team. These tablets are connected together, but no access out. Note anything worthwhile.” Kaylee rips off the sticky and hands the bit of tech to Aman, with a slightly trembling hand. “My security detail is still my security team, so no worries there, Hahn.” She gives the woman a small nod. Another tablet is offered to Yi-Min, before she pulls out two more. One going to Luther looks like it has a thicker battery. A little backup juice.

“In truth we are looking for clues. For anything that could be spirited away discreetly by Aman so that we can do our own tests and have it looked at by a postcog… once we find one willing.” There is a mild grimace, Kaylee was clearly still working on that.

Returning to the site was affecting her more than Kaylee expected. It looked different with a clearer head, but still a chill clawed at her stomach. She looks at Yi-Min and lets out a nervous breath. “You ready for this?” Like the former telepath, she was a survivor. Already in the back of Kaylee’s mind she can hear the high pitched whine of the engine cycling and smell the acidic smell of burning fuel just as clear as it was that night.

Aman might be dressed well to match the professional mood here, but he's made sure the brown dress coat and the grey blazer he sports have ample pocket space on the inside, along with the slacks that pair with them. If they can practice some regular sleight of hand with crashsite objects before having to resort to bringing out his borrowed ability, he's all for that. Who knows who he might run into back at the hangar, after all.

Everything carries its risks. Even so, he agrees on the importance of being here. People like Kaylee and Yi-Min deserve those answers.

With a hopeful, if nervous anticipation, he looks to Kaylee and nods as much to acknowledge his role and hopefully impart on her they've got this.

He tries to not think about how eerie it is that it's so dark so early out here. It's a far cry from the way things are in New York, but they're also far from home. One thing, though, sticks out to him in a way that's universal—

"Little weirded out there's no one here to meet us. Hopefully these people on-site already are legit instead of…" He quirks his brows higher and tilts his head slightly. Well, who knew, really.

When Yi-Min Yeh is forced into taking on a facade of a role, she commits to it. Seated just behind Kaylee, she looks every part the government contractor whose stake in this business is professional only, with her immaculate black suit, pencil skirt, and trace of red lipstick all a seamlessly muted match with the palette of the woman who had brought them here. If she shares a similar weariness in her soul, somewhere beyond the sum of those trim, sharp lines, it does not show.

Between her ankles rests an aluminum attache case. Ostensibly, it holds innocuous things related to the 'contracting job' they are here to complete, but really it's stuffed full of whatever carefully curated knickknacks of her trade she had seen fit to haul out here into the Canadian countryside.

This might just be their one shot at finding clues directly from the source.

The look Yi-Min levels at Kaylee after she has finished reaching for the offered tablet is silent, yet speaks volumes in its stillness. It is accompanied by a slight dip of her chin— all without breaking eye contact, or the shadowed tranquility of her gaze. She does not turn that glance at Aman when he hears his comment, but the press of her lips reflects her acknowledgement.

"Mm. At this point, we have no choice but to be prepared for anything."

Luther Bellamy never will admit that he's uncomfortable around planes. Something about the multitude of technical difficulties that could occur within and without, and the unnatural manner of transportation. If men were meant to fly…

Grey eyes flick a glance over in Aman's direction, as Luther receives his tablet that looks and feels thicker than the others. That's enough to shift his attention to it, but any questions about it are saved for mulling over later. It looks normal size for his grip anyway. The tablet, for now, gets tucked against his arm and the man nods slightly in readiness.

But Kaylee's nervous behavior earns a concerned lift of his brow. He smooths down the front of his suit jacket, a cool black affair over standard white button down and black tie, and finally offers a faint but reassuring smile. "Relax," he rumbles out, "it's obvious that the people out there, they got a problem. A big logistics nightmare of one. And we're here to help and be a part of the solution."

That said, Luther moves to open his side of the car to step out.

Raytech’s team emerging from the SUV are greeted only by the frigid Canadian autumn. The air is bitingly crisp compared to the spring-like sweetness the air had on the night of the crash. Being here now after so much time is a vivid sense of deja vu for Kaylee and Yi-Min. The wreckage hasn’t been moved, and though pieces of the smaller debris have been collected into tarp-covered heaps and flood lights erected, it feels like walking back into that moment.

To Luther and Aman seeing the plane wreckage scattered and broken the way it is ends an air of impossibility to the story they were told. The plane is split into three sections, debris scattered across the rocky terrain. A large portion of the plane is fire-blackened and other parts look to have simply exploded. That either woman survived this crash is nothing short of a miracle.

Kaylee is startled by the shine of a flashlight across her face when someone steps out from behind a piece of the fuselage. She should have sensed him coming, but with everything that’s happened, her phantom limb of lost telepathy grasps at nothing. She feels disarmed, vulnerable, and exposed like a nerve in a cracked tooth.

The man who emerges from the wreckage is a tall and dour-looking man with wide-set eyes, one of which has a subtly different alignment from the other, making it hard to tell precisely where he is looking. He wears a black wool coat over an equally dark suit with a crisp white undershirt and black tie. No identification, just a rectangular badge of matte black metal clipped to his coat’s lapel.

Agent Gates lowers the flashlight with a surprised, “Miss Thatcher?”

Just like anyone blinded by a flashlight, Kaylee grimaces and turns her head away from the bright light. Fingers tighten around the edge of the tablet and folder she’s been clutching close to her chest, because she did instinctively go for her ability. When the light is gone and the spots have faded, she offers this unfamiliar person and bright smile.

Of course, her blue eyes noticeably go straight to the badge. Huh.

“In the flesh,” Kaylee says pleasantly, if a bit curious. Her head tilts to the side as she sizes him up. “Are you the official that is going to show us the site?” She has no idea who this person is, and she already feels suspicious creeping into her gut. For now tho… might as well keep up the facade, smiles and pleasant words. Until, she knows for sure.

Kaylee rests a hand on the folder and says, “I’ve got the paperwork all here, for Raytech to officially survey the site so we can give y’all a good bid for the contract to move this baby,” she offers with a swirls of her finger to include the site.

Aman's distraction over the sheer size of the plane — if so large a thing can still even be called that— keeps him from being blinded immediately by the agent that emerges, only seeing spots out of the corner of his eye.

When he turns to look at the man, his own head tilts in idle surprise. Huh.

He's quick to replace it with a professional, polite smile. "Is it just you out here, sir, or will anyone else be joining us?" Gesturing with his tablet to the wreckage, he notes, "Quite a lot of ground to cover."

Aside from the cursory displeasure of being met by the sweep of a flashlight into her eyes as it passes by, Yi-Min doesn't show much of an outward reaction to the man who had stepped out to greet them.

Unlike Gates, it isn't hard to tell where her gaze sticks, cool and withdrawn in the afternoon breeze— and right now it definitely isn't on the slightly more distant humps of the wreck.

Kaylee and Aman appear to have the initial questioning handled, so she stays just as she is, playing the part of quiet assistant with attache case in hand.

For all his words about being relaxed, Luther silently regrets that part of the advice when he catches sight of the crash area. The burned debris, the exploded portions of the cargo area, and shorn parts of framework are like magnets of old memories that pull them up from the mind's mire of war-torn battlefields full of destroyed machines.

Luther turns and squints in the direction of the flashlight when it comes around the wreckage. Like Yi-min, the man remains quiet and looming behind the group as an observer, listening to the purposeful jockeying of social conventions.

Gates is silent for a long while, flashlight aimed down at his feet. He scans the small group, focusing on Aman with noteworthy silence and a crease of his brows. Finally it is Kaylee that Gates settles on, shaking his head in answer to her question.

“I’m not here to…” Gates shakes his head, “do whatever you think I’m here to do. I’m here to investigate this crash.” He takes a step forward, closer to the group. Luther can now see four other black-suited agents sweeping through the wreckage. “You must not have received a notice from the Canadian government, but they’ve agreed to turn the wreckage over to the US Department of the Exterior.”

“We’ll be handling transport,” Gates thinks to add, looking between the small gathering.

There is a noticeable narrowing of Kaylee’s eyes and setting of her jaw at that bit of information. Department of the Exterior. It’s a group that currently doesn't sit right with her. There is so much she wants to say, use of some choice words to express her thoughts. Instead she sighs heavily through her nose.

There were a lot of people relying on her to get her hands on this wreckage and the odds were suddenly not in her favor.

Damn it!

“Well…” She says softly a small, strained smile on her lips. She hands the tablet and paperwork off to Luther to hold… or give him extra juice if he needs it, with hope they don’t. “A wasted trip then? The email will probably be there when I get back.” She looks at the wreckage and back to Gate, “Sure you don’t need help? Never known the government to do their own dirty work and Yamagato has even agreed to subcontract on this bid. We’re only looking to break even on this job and show off our tech in hopes of a few more defense contracts.” Her mouth pulls to one side in a sort of ‘you know how it is’ look.

“And, of course, get a look at the wreckage ourselves,” Kaylee admits without missing a beat or that pleasant tone, because he must be aware there would be an ulterior motive just by her being there.

Why hide it?

However, that smile fades and there is a calculating look in her eyes. Kaylee is weighting her odds clearly. Her attention shifts to the agents combing the wreckage. “You know, lately, it seems like I go places and there y’all are.” A brows tips upward as she turns her attention back to Gates, both suspicious and curious. “I would wonder if you somehow knew I’d be here, if you hadn’t seemed genuinely surprised to see me, Agent…” That title is drawn out, giving him an option to fill in who the hell he is.

Aman can't help but wear the smallest frown when the agent they've encountered reveals they'll be hard-pressed to find moments alone with the wreckage. It smooths away into a professional calm again in short order as he looks over Gates' shoulder to see the glimpse of other flashlights.

His thumb taps idly on his tablet while Kaylee spins the story she does, pressing for involvement without losing charm in her attempts. He makes a mental map of where they are currently standing, the relation of the nearby wreckage taken well into consideration. If they teleported back here later this evening, at some ungodly hour where no one should be around, he'd need to make sure they came back to this precise spot rather than accidentally finishing the job the plane wreck tried to do to Kaylee.

The wreckage was at least still here. For now. They could do what they could with that… even if it happened to be a thing slightly-less-than-legally done.

Attention straying out to the combing agents, Luther narrows his gaze at the group long enough that he nearly misses the tablet being handed to him. His gaze returns to the agent once Kaylee's tablet joins the one already in his hand. "Department of the Exterior?" echoes the man. "As in, in charge of space, advanced technologies, and non-terrestrial interests. What, you think maybe aliens brought this plane down?" Though his tone shares a sense of incredulity, Luther looks otherwise serious about the whole affair. "Surprised the Canadians haven't already been confiscating parts thinking someone's been flying illegally through their airspace, too."

Luther gestures out to the wreckage area, adding an angled nod to Kaylee and Yi-Min, "Have they managed to recover personal effects, if any? These two ladies, what with their personal involvement, should get a look over to see if anything's theirs they might be missing."

Gates starts to turn, then pauses and looks at Kaylee, then Aman, and finally over to Luther. Yi-Min’s presence as a quiet observer leaves Gates affording her the overlook that she seems to desire, which is an unusually complacent thing for a federal agent.

“No personal effects,” Gates explains as he continues to turn toward the wreckage. But he isn’t dismissing the four, rather, he’s continuing the conversation as he walks through the wreckage. “It was actually Yamagato Industries putting in on this bid that put it back on our radar. Their personal investment comes at a cross-purpose to the government’s own investigation, you have to understand. We can’t have a foreign-aligned corporation handling a matter of national security.”

Gates stops and is met by another dark-suited agent, a Black man with a crisp sense of fashion and a severe expression. The agent pauses as he sees Kaylee and the others, then looks to Gates who nods in some measure of assent. “This is Agent Harris,” Gates introduces, and Harris locks eyes momentarily with Yi-Min, and then grows quiet once more.

“Agent Harris, would you mind supplying me with extra badges for these contractors?” Gates says with a look at the other agent, who pauses in consternation only to wordlessly reach inside of his jacket and pull out a short stack of matte black rectangular badges much like the one Gates wears. He counts out four, then hands them to Gates who fans the badges out and holds them out to the others.

“For your safety as well as ours,” Gates half explains, waving the badges in his hand. “Clip it on around your collar somewhere. If the badge disappears or fully changes color, please stand in one place and call it out.”

There is a look of relief at the others as they are not quickly sent away, moving to follow Gates and listen carefully. “This is part of why they are subcontracting and Raytech is doing the bidding. Raytech would throw itself into the black trying to bid low enough on this project. And both I and Ms. Nakamura don’t want to see this fall into the wrong hands.”

Kaylee doesn’t let that small dig on her company sting too much, but she notes it and tucks it away.

“Agent Harris,” Kaylee offers politely, taking the badges from Gates and offering them to her own people. Mostly, so that she can give Aman a warning look, when she turns her back on Gates and Harris to hand it to him. “Worried about thin spots in the fabric between… what is it my brother calls them?” The former telepath turns back around on the ball of her foot and clips the badge to the collar of her red coat. “Oh yes… Superstrings or maybe a bubble in time?”

Word gets around it seems, but then… the Rays tend to know things.

Looking between the two agents, Kaylee’s smile fades at the edges, though she is still polite. “I promise you that Yamagato wants just as many answers, just like Raytech and the rest of the survivors. We all should be working together, pooling resources for answers.” Brows lift a bit watching them, as she pulls out her cellphone.

“You call this a point of national security for the US.” Kaylee looks over the wreckage, trying to block out the memories of that night. “But, as my associate here pointed out” - Luther she means - “it’s not on US soil and one could argue that Japan would view this crash the same way, since two of their citizens were in the crash and folks employed by a Japanese company. Especially, when they have one important piece of evidence.” She pushes a button on her phone and voices speaking in German fill the air between them, she lets it loop as she continues to talk.

“Let us and them help,” Kaylee says over the voices, “to ensure this plane is safe from the wrong hands and to find answers.” This was her throwing all her chips on the table, she’d hand him a file with all their findings if she had one. “I for one am going crazy just sitting back and waiting for the occasional update which is never really an update at all.”

Aman manages to keep his cool when Kaylee starts in on the agent, the card he's given turned over in hand. He lets out a slow breath, his mind elsewhere. He's thinking of the plane— of the hangar they left it in, and the precise spot he wants to appear in should the mood here shift as a result of what Kaylee's said.

His thoughts are otherwise racing maybe as a result of the ability he's currently holding, or maybe because talking to federal agents about holes in reality and pressuring them is fucking ballsy and liable to backfire.

While he uses a pen to clip the badge to his coat, he looks past Gates to offer Harris a nod. This Is Fine. He's just going to play the part of perfectly personable, hoping silently that this doesn't blow up in their faces.

Gates looks at Kaylee, then up at Yi-Min and Luther’s silent and looming silhouettes, watching the group clip on their badges. Kaylee’s assertion isn’t met with contradiction, but rather quiet acquiescence. Gates leads the four through the wreckage, past workers in hazmat suits carefully disassembling parts of the plane and cataloging them.

“There’s a time for collaboration,” Gates offers after a few moments, briefly looking down at his own badge. “A time for compartmentalization.” He looks at Kaylee again, then Aman. Harris seems to have a pointed amount of attention for the odd-duck out in their entourage, the one the DoE didn’t have eyes on prior to this moment.

“You were a member of the Ferrymen,” Gates says to Kaylee. “You had allies, ones you worked with, ones who helped. But, if I’m remembering my history correctly, only the Council knew all the maneuvers happening at once because of information security needs. Because if the wrong information slipped to the wrong people, it could cost lives.”

Gates stops by the sundered opening to the cockpit, looking inside. He then looks back to Kaylee. “What was your plan? If you recovered the wreckage?”

“What we’ve been doing all along, Investigate,” Kaylee says without hesitation at that question, the look she levels at the man says she’s being serious. Following the agent, she gives a significant glance to Aman to pay attention. They may need to pop in later.

“But… slick use of the Ferry,” Kaylee says with amusement and a shake of her finger at him. “I know all about compartmentalizing, spend my life being the one shut out because of who and what I am. I’m frankly tired of it, like anyone on the outside would be.” Kaylee watches the workers as they pass, her stomach twisting with a weird sense of ownership.

While others might not ever want to see it again, Kaylee didn’t want to see it whisked away from her sight. There were answers she needed here, somewhere in the twisted hull.

“As for our plans, the first part involves the cockpit and post-cogs. Without the blackbox, it’s a chance at information or even a small clue to work from on why it crashed and how it got here,” Kaylee says, her head tipping towards what’s left of it. “I'm sure you’ve probably been there and done that… Sadly, I’m kinda late to the party thanks to my….,” she motions to her head, instead of saying it, cause he knows. There is no malice in the smile she offers Gate, pleasant even, though maybe a bit sheepish. “I have a few post-cogs in my rolodex and I’m hoping they can give us a few nuggets of insight, I’ve found different post-cogs can sometimes hone in on different events and moments.”

Kaylee moves to fully look at the cockpit, eyes narrowed for a moment to peer in the darkness of it. She gives a partial glance over her shoulder at the others, before focusing on Gates again. Leaning slightly his way, she quiets her voice. “And let's just say that Raytech wants to check the… hum on this baby and rule out a few things.” Hopefully he understands what she means about that, or has an idea. Straightening, hands spread, “Beyond that, we’re adjusting our strategy on the fly, since it's a highly fluid situation. Every answer is progress towards knowing what the hell happened to us.”

Aman follows along at a slow pace after catching Kaylee's glance. He spends most of the walk through the wreckage doing a mental catalogue of it, tablet unlocked and tapped away at to note anything of interest. He keeps to himself, for the most part, but grows heavily aware of Harris' continued attention on him.

Kaylee handles the conversation with a grace and power he's glad to see in her. It emboldens him in return, sees him returning Harris' look finally. "I don't know about you, but I wasn't expecting the sun to be down this early," he commiserates. "Are there any other areas we should have a look at before it gets completely dark?" He idly gestures with his tablet off at areas other than the cockpit.

“There’s lights,” is Gates’ dismissive comment to the dwindling daylight. But he looks most distracted by Kaylee, and offers her one raised brow in silent consideration.

“Is your postcognitive here? Because I will let you in on a secret, that psychometry and postcognition are rare abilities. Not teleportation rare, but rare enough that I don’t have one in my back pocket. Nor does SESA these days.” Gates’ tone is soft and conversational, and somewhere in the conversation Harris stepped behind a piece of wreckage and never stepped back out again, disappearing out of sight.

“Cooperation requires cooperative efforts. Mutual respect is also nice, but I know that’s a harder road fought after everything that you literally fought a war over.” Gates spreads his hands, then looks around at the wreckage. “If your friend here,” he says with a motion to Aman, “is your key, then we have some areas we consider hot-spots that we could examine. But if this is all conjecture for the moment, maybe we could talk about long-term cooperation?”

That tidbit about such abilities being rare gets a lift of her brows. Kaylee seems a touch surprised. “An organization like yours and you don’t have…” She doesn’t finish the thought but gives a soft, huh. “Well, then we can help each other, which I’ve wanted to do rather than sneaking around y’all’s back.” There is visible relief at the idea.

“And no I don’t have any post-cog with me. To be honest, I didn’t know what I was walking into and it’s been a conga line of - excuse the language - shit shows for the past few years.” Kaylee says with bland humor. “I brought people who could handle themselves in case we ran into some interference and then once the plane was secure bring them in in a few days, since nothing happens quickly.” I know of four people with abilities that could help here, though one.. Just opened a bakery and has retired.” There is a disappointed sigh at that fact. “Which is a pity because she was the strongest of the four I know. I know of a fifth, but his ability works with people and he kinda… AWOL at the moment, I believe I’ve heard.” She means Rhys of course.

Lips press tightly before she adds, “Either way, long term is probably how we’ll have to go about it.”

With a heavy sigh through her nose, Kaylee turns back to the cabin and asks, “Think you can secure the cockpit? No one in or out? Fewer people wandering around in there and touching things, the better it is. Do we have a timeframe? If I leave tonight, I can start gathering people up.”

After a short pause, Kaylee asks, glancing at Gates out of the corner of her eye, “Anyone else… or help you need? Let me know. I honestly thought you had more abilities available under your belt. I used to scout talent for contracting out when I was still working at Raytech full time, we don’t have a huge army of abilities, but we know people.”

Aman is in the middle of double-taking over Harris' disappearance when he gets the sense he's being talked about, looking just in time to see Gates gesture at him. He sobers from his more casual air, turning the tablet over in his hand as he tries to decide how even to respond to the question of is he a psychometer, aside from no.

Honestly, he's not sure if honesty serves here.

"Don't think you can swipe her out from underneath us as a hiring agent," Aman still manages to joke anyway. "Part-time or not, Raytech still needs her." He grins affably, stuffing the tablet into his armpit before rubbing his hands together to begin to warm them again.

“Oh,” Gates spreads his hands, “I wouldn’t think of it. I know what Rays are capable of.” He flashes Kaylee a smile, then looks around the wreckage.

“But how about I do you one better?” Gates considers, looking back to the four. “We have a plan to move all the wreckage in progress. We were going to move it to Washington, mostly because of distance, but if your assets are in New York, there’s a hangar we could move the wreckage to in the Safe Zone. It’ll take two weeks to move everything, and another week to ensure the site is clear for visitors.”

Gates looks Kaylee up and down slowly, then glances at Aman, then back to Kaylee again. “But let’s consider this a test run. You supply a postcognitive and we’ll meet in the middle to go over whatever it is that is found. By the book, documented, procedural.”

Gates looks over at Luther and Yi-Min, then back to Kaylee and Aman. “Sound fair?”

There is a wicked glint in Kaylee’s eyes when she returns Gate’s smile, not insulted by that comment. She knows what they were like, too. Still… “Yes, very fair and I hope you’re not comparing me to my brothers,” she says with a small laugh. “My views and aspirations are not quite the same as them, but we at least agree that we want a better world for the kids.”

“Your brothers?” Gates says with a raise of one brow. “No.”

Reaching to take her tablet from Luther again, Kaylee gives Aman an encouraging smile. He was doing good. She’d tell him if she could.

Then with her tablet in hand, Kaylee turns her attention to making notes. Now that there was a new plan, a better one. “That… that should work, it gives me some time to solidify the game plan. Everything was tentative until I could secure access.” She flashes Gates a smile of appreciation, seeming to relax a little. “Thank you for this. If you have a way to contact you, I’ll keep you in the loop.”

Turning to look out at the rest of the site, Kaylee looks thoughtfully curious. “By the way, you mentioned a few hot spots you wanted to look into?” She finally asks, turning to business at hand. “Are they in the fuselage, revolve around pieces of equipment… or on the ground?” It might be an odd question, but she explains. “I have one that might have to stand in the fuselage to get anything - I’m new to how his works - and another needs fingerprints to process with his ability. So that’s something to watch for.”

Those were the two she felt confident about, at least. It was really hard to contain the thrill that a good mystery gives her. It was like a bone she couldn’t stop gnawing at.

By the book is right where Aman knows he'll need to step back, but he's relieved at least this trip turned out to be a positive thing for Kaylee and Yi-Min in solving their mystery … or at least, is a step in the right direction.

"If we come up with a personal effect of someone who had been on board as well, there's a small chance I could talk another psychometer I know into offering their help, too." Aman shifts a glance to Kaylee, knowing he's not mentioned this before. "As an absolute last resort, if nothing else works out."

He takes the tablet back into his hand with a one-shouldered shrug. "It's worth scraping the bottom of every barrel for this."

“We have the pilot’s clothes,” Gates says with a look over to the wreckage, then down to Aman’s badge, then back up to his eyes. “We can have those shipped in. Mind you, any reading will be supervised by someone from our office. The more we know about what went down the better we’ll be at piecing together some of this.”

Gates takes a step from Aman over to Kaylee, glancing at her tablet for just a moment. “Hot spots are places we believe have the most potential for psychometric resonance. Cockpit, and each of the ACTS containers you were held in. We’ve already moved those to a safe facility, but we can have them transported for this review process.” With a look back to Aman, Gates raises one brow, but he doesn’t say anything. Instead, he looks back to Kaylee.

“I need you to do something for me, Ms. Thatcher.” Gates places two fingers on her tablet, lowering it so she has to pay attention to him. “I need you to come to us in the future. If you have ideas, resources, thoughts. We aren’t the enemy. We may have our secrets… but…” Gates glances at Aman again, then back to Kaylee.

“Don’t we all?”

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