hana_icon.gif leroy_icon.gif marlowe_icon.gif

Scene Title Selah
Synopsis Hebrew. A term in the Bible (cf. Psalms) interpreted as "stop and listen" or "pause, and think of that".

On her way out of the Yamagato Building, Hana is waylaid by engineers who want to talk projects with the famous technopath.
Date June 19, 2018

Yamagato Building

Dressed in stark black suit, Hana is as a shadow cast against the spacious, pale, brightly-lit lobby of the Yamagato Building. The only points of color to her appearance are a subtle hint of lipstick, the blue classification bracelet on her left wrist, and the red-and-white Yamagato contractor's badge that rests against her chest. Two of those are on display not by her choice, but by the necessity of her present hosts, of security heightened since a devastating day not so very long ago.

Hana descends the stairs with the brisk haste of a visitor whose errand is complete, her attention now fixed on other places and future ends, and on eliminating the intervening distance between here and there. In her wake follows an escort also mandated by security measures, his demeanor politely unassuming; there is no familiarity between them, nor any attempt at small talk that might bridge that gap, and whatever the escort thinks of Hana's errand here — or of her inclination to a precipitous departure — he seems inclined to keep to himself even in implication.

Crossing the path like a black cat on the prowl is Marlowe, the senior engineer busily tapping at a tablet bearing a sparkling glitter-red casing. The white top she has on may not be the most sensible of colors given her line of work, but she’s coupled it with a charcoal grey jacket and matched pants, closed toe heels. It gives off the impression she was in a meeting rather than the lab, also implied by the direction she’d come from and the floor she’s on.

She casts a glance up to where Hana’s descent is heard coming down the stairs at a brisk pace. The first items noticed are the bracelet and the badge. It takes Marlowe a moment to place her recognition of the woman’s face, but she doesn’t quite reach a name.

Standing in the path of least resistance, Marlowe becomes the blockage as she looks at Hana. And seems intent to clear up the lack of a name. “Excuse me. But I think I’ve seen you somewhere before?” It’s on that note, Marlowe glances to the badge clipped on the other woman’s jacket.

Hana draws to a halt a few steps above the lobby floor, her forward progress blocked. She looks down at Marlowe with exasperation that isn't veiled in the slightest, a hint of stiffness to her posture. Behind her, the self-effacing escort remains scrupulously neutral and patient.

"You may have," Hana agrees coolly, clearly disinclined to welcome that recognition. "If you want an autograph, the answer is no," she continues, preemptively forbidding, yet at the same time confirming that her name and face merit at least some recognition. She fails to provide that name — but, of course, it's printed in plain view on her badge.

Marlowe lifts a carefully manicured brow up at the cooling, unwelcoming demeanor from Hana, tucking her tablet under her arm with the barest twitch for the twang of pain that comes from a still healing shoulder. The name on the badge presents a number of confirmations as well as conclusions. And then it strikes her, when Hana mentions autographs.

"Autograph? …Ah!" She smacks the side of her loose fist against the other palm. "Hana. I love your character on River Styx. One of my favorites to watch with Hachi—" She catches herself mid-sentence, correcting course. "When I'm working in Director Otomo's medical suite." Another beat. "It's good to have something in the background ambiance."

Another quick glance bounces from Hana to Hana's escort and to the direction they'd come from. "And your badge says you're contracting with us?" She nods in indication to the marked ID, her own hanging off a hip-pinned retractable lanyard that's partly hidden by the charcoal suit jacket's hem. It's following the question that she recalls her lack of introduction.

"Marlowe Terrell, senior engineer. Civil Engineering Division." Her hand is held out for a shake - the non bandaged one.

In her turn, Hana arches a brow at Marlowe's enthusiasm for the fictional portrayal of Wireless. No, she definitely doesn't approve. But — at least the woman doesn't ask for an autograph. Or a photo. Or worse.

She inclines her head as Marlowe continues, silent affirmation of her contractor status. There's a moment's pause before Hana shakes the offered hand, her grip confidently firm but perfunctory in its observance of the social nicety. "Do you mind?" is less a question and more an insistence, as Hana nods towards the steps Marlowe is blocking.

A few cameras suddenly turn, one looking squarely at Hana. And then, after a few moments, someone comes running after an elevator door opens, holding a tablet in his hand, wearing a pair of Crocs with some blue jeans and a white Yamagato t-shirt.

Leroy skids to a halt, a literal skid, almost hitting the floor before he balances himself, standing behind Marlowe. His eyes are wide, staring dead into Hana's. "Hana Gitelmen holy shit!" he yells, and then suddenly breathes, calming himself. "Sorry, sorry, that was unprofessional. By the way I know T.Amas!"

He immediately starts moving up to offer a hand to Hana, trying to squeeze into the little gathering. "I would love to talk to you about literally anything, but I'm particularly interested in discussing matters of security, if you're not too busy."

Then, looking over, he smiles. "Hey, Marlowe."

Social contract fulfilled, Marlowe starts to step aside with an ‘oh right’ uttered as she realizes she’s become an obstacle rather than a conversation partner. It’s around then that Leroy’s rapid approach (and swear) catch her attention, likely as much as it does for the one it’s directed towards. She winces slightly from the embarrassment, even taking that step back and to the side to give way to her coworker’s brusque entrance.

“Take it easy, Leroy, remember to breathe,” she replies to his greeting, her mouth twisting to a wry smirk. A glance is sent towards Hana’s escort; it is something apologetic for the ruckus around his assignment.

Hana gives Marlowe a minute nod in acknowledgment as the woman steps back — but her own forward impetus is arrested almost before it begins by the sight of a man running across the lobby. Her eyes narrow, tracking his rapid approach; a hint of tension seeps into her posture. As he shouts her name, drawing the attention of every single person in the lobby — as well as many who are not — Hana exhales, fingers lifting to briefly frame the bridge of her nose between closed eyes.

Her degree of enthusiasm is the exact antithesis of Leroy's.

"I am aware," she remarks dryly in response to the mention of mutual acquaintance. "You would be Jackson." Lowering her hand, she glances briefly to Marlowe, then back to Leroy. The handshake she belatedly grants is even more perfunctory than what Marlowe received. "Outside," is all but growled, albeit only in exasperation.

Leroy moves out of the way and starts heading outside, holding his tablet as they finally make their way outdoors. "Sorry, I've been trying to find a way to contact you for a long time. When the facial recognition picked you up, I couldn't miss my chance."

Because of course he had the security cameras waiting for the moment Hana set foot into Yamagato again.

“Don’t ask her for an autograph,” Marlowe stage-whispers to Leroy without any assumption that Hana won’t hear it. Perhaps because she knows Hana will hear it. It’s with an expression of apology that she turns to be the first of three (four with the security escort) to head outside of the lobby. And she sticks close, likely on account of Leroy being there. He has struck off on the wrong foot at times.

The automatic doors leading outside part with a near silent slide.

Leroy's statement earns him a sidelong glance whose degree of irritation borders on glare. "Phone. Email. I should hope you're at least as capable of using them as any tabloid writer." Her inflection makes quite clear what regard Hana holds said writers in: nothing positive.

Hana's escort does not follow them out the doors, or even across the lobby, but falls back and fades out as they depart. Outside the building, Hana removes her badge and tucks it away in a pocket; the bracelet, of course, remains. She sets a course down the street, strides measured so as not to outpace her unexpected company.

"What did you want to talk about?"

"I wouldn't ask for her autograph!" Leroy gently nudges Marlowe in the arm, then stops once they're outside to cross his arms. "I can't just call or email Hana Gitelman, there's probably thousands of people out there trying to reach you for something." Of course, he clearly underestimates his own position. Marlowe probably figured that out the first time she caught him sleeping under a desk.

"I don't expect you to agree to this, and I know that this is probably going to sound like one of those things an evil mad scientist would say…" He gives it a few moments of thought before he actually follows that up, because he knows he has to choose his words carefully. "I know that all technopaths work differently, but I at least need to figure out how one of them works so that I can move ahead with the work I'm trying to do. I need someone willing to work with me, willing to let me analyze how they interact with computers, so that I can try to build an A.I capable of actually defending against these kinds of threats."

"You obviously have no incentive to agree to this." he concedes, before she actually says anything. "But this would do a ridiculous service to repairing the infrastructure of the country, to be in a better state than it was before."

Marlowe shoots Leroy a chiding look for the nudge, like the contact may have been inappropriate in present company. "You can too 'just' call or email Hana Gitelman," she remarks as she glances to said would-be receiver of those messages. "Doesn't mean she's obligated to answer." Her brow ticks up at the woman in regard.

The request from Leroy earns him a double lift of Marlowe's brows and widened eyes. It's a disconcerted look. "Leroy, did you just…" Her words trail because she swiftly changes her attention back over to Hana she tries to cover, quickly clearing her throat, "What he means to say, surely, is that we've been in the midst of R&D for a network that allows for better mobile communications. The basis of it are some drones I designed, that could be outfitted for in-the-field self-diagnostics and interchangeably positioned. A.I. would help in this. But we are worried about external attempts to override or disrupt the systems." There. No accusatory implications of hostile technopaths. Certainly not directly spoken to the woman before them.

Marlowe ducks her head slightly, studying the woman's reaction then.

Hana pivots before she gets too far down the block, as it's made obvious in short order that her not-precisely-invited companions are disinclined to have a conversation on the move. She gives Leroy a flat look that only gets flatter as he continues speaking. Dark eyes glance to Marlowe as she chimes in to try and smooth over on entirely the wrong front. Hana simply raises a quelling hand.

"First. I appreciate a certain amount of decorum. Which does not include shouting my name across a public area. It does include contact by more conventional methods.

"Second. You do not sound like an 'evil mad scientist'. That is simply practical." We approve of taking proper security precautions, as another said to Leroy before.

"Third. Don't try and oversell it," she continues. "'Repairing the infrastructure of the country' is a long fucking ways off no matter how you slice it."

The one thing she doesn't seem perturbed by is the suggestion of hostile technopaths.

Lowering her hand, Hana returns her attention to Marlowe, and inclines her head. "I have some… peripheral awareness of your drone network. It is distinctive."

"I apologize if I've been a little forward. Marlowe is much better at public relations than I am. I spend long periods of time under desks." Leroy admits with an apologetically embarrassed smile. "My idea of public relations is trying my best not to make people feel dumb, or sound too much like I think they're dumb." His tone suggests that neither of these things are particularly easy.

"If you could help us secure the drone network, so that it's not just kind of a sitting duck… I'm not sure that conventional security is enough, that's why I've been trying to work on using A.I to combat advanced technopathic manipulation." Then looking over at Marlowe, he adds, "Which is not saying that I'm suggesting that technopaths are evil or anything like that. I'm pretty sure we have security procedures for dealing with invisible people too."

Marlowe starts to open her mouth to say something more, but thinks better of making a comment about Leroy being under desks a lot. Ahem. There’s that decorum Hana mentioned, as Marlowe shuts her mouth and listens to the listing of points. The toss in of that swear from the head of Wolfhound draws a crooked angle to her smile as she agrees. “Point taken, Miss Gitelman. And yes, we’re a ways off yet. But it’s doable, within our lifetimes even.”

That might be an ambitious way of viewing the timeline, but then, Marlowe’s never been one to be deterred by a tight deadline. Even a self-set one.

“We’ve been delayed slightly with the recent events,” she says with a little less enthusiasm and a brief glance back to Leroy. “But certainly could use the help with figuring out some more of the digital complications.” Her gaze switches back to Hana, assessing. “What do you think of it? Distinctive, how?”

The under desks remark earns Leroy an askance look, but it's clear Hana doesn't intend to dwell on that topic, even if she's not entirely clear how to take it. Instead, she inclines her head slightly to Marlowe, acknowledging doable. Which it is; anything built can be rebuilt, in principle.

Her opinion on Yamagato's ability to realize that principle, given said recent events, is also kept to herself.

A sideways flick of her hand dismisses any concerns relating to distinctiveness. "In the way a cluster of people conversing stands out in an otherwise all-but-deserted auditorium. As you build it out, that will become less a factor. It may also not be a factor for anyone else," she adds, with no implication of self-aggrandizement.

Hana returns her attention to Leroy. "For system design and programming concerns, I suggest you continue working with T.Amas. I may be a technopath, but computer science and engineering are not my strengths." She looks between the two. "If you would like an 'inside' perspective, that, I can provide."

"What I want to know is how different technopaths work. That's why I've been trying to use an A.I that I created to study the way that technopaths interact with machines. T.Amas pointed out that not every technopath is the same, so I want to study as many as possible to see if I can come up with something in common." Leroy explains, starting to tap away at his tablet again. "I have computer science down pretty well, what I don't understand is how your brain works."

The comment raises brief concern from Marlowe, then acknowledgment and she falls quiet as a she taps a finger on her chin, pensively. The conversation between Leroy and Hana goes on without her immediate input, and only a slight lean indicates change of her attention as she looks over at Leroy tapping away.

Finally, when her gaze returns to Hana, she asks. “Miss Gitelman, what are you consulting at Yamagato for?”

Hana regards Leroy for a moment, then inclines her head in what borders on grudging, or perhaps just reluctant, acquiescence. Her attention flicks to Marlowe as the other woman speaks up, and the technopath offers her a small, perfunctory smile. "Nothing I can discuss, I'm afraid," is supplied coolly enough to suggest not only can't, but won't.

She looks between them both for a moment, then nods once, decisively. "I do not have time to get further into this today," she states. "But we can continue this discussion at a later date." Her gaze focuses on Leroy for a moment. "Provided you reach out to me with when you'd like that to be."

"Alright, I'll send an email." Leroy finally concedes, then offers a hand to Hana. "It was an honor to meet you. I apologize if your celebrity might have made me a little stupid." He laughs a little, adding, "At least something could make me stupid, so it's a nice change of pace." As if Marlowe isn't already used to Leroy's brain shutting off if she's even in the same room at times.

A curious twist curls Marlowe’s lip corner for the woman’s answer, but she tips her head in acknowledgment. Discretion and decorum. “Of course,” comes verbal acceptance and physical action to step back and to the side one pace. Leroy’s comment ticks up the other corner of her lips in amusement. “We’ll be in touch, Miss Gitelman. Thank you for the moment of your time,” she adds in farewell. “And please travel safe.”

Hana shakes Leroy's offered hand with less evident reluctance this time, though she still keeps it brief. A nod is given to each of the Yamagato employees before the technopath turns and resumes making her way down the street, long strides eating the ground, not once looking back at the building or the people left in her wake.

There's still a lot of day left ahead of her, and none of its further business is here.

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