asi_icon.gif godfrey_icon.gif kay_icon.gif marlowe_icon.gif

Scene Title 四天王
Synopsis A Fabulous Four come together to plot the retrieval of the missing Cestus prototype.
Date December 22, 2019

Yamagato Park

The video call that rings on several phones at once looks as though it comes from Godfrey Wells. But if it’s coming from him, why isn’t it his face seen upon picking up?

One of the quadrants for the designated call group is lit up with an image of Asi Tetsuyama instead, the dark blue of her eyes standing out thanks to the similarly-colored henley shirt she wears. She’s waving a hand through the air before her to clear it of smoke, batting it away with the idle expression of someone waving off a gnat.

“Surprise!” she announces on seeing another face, unsmiling for all of the brightness in her tone. “I have an early Christmas present for you.”

Another quadrant flickers to life. The face of Kay Damaris comes into focus. She’s dressed down in a sweatshirt emblazoned with her daughter’s school mascot. Her blonde hair is pulled up in a ponytail, face free of make-up.

“Is that Miss Tetsuyama?” comes a voice from off camera.

The image swings out of focus. Damaris is on the move. “No, it’s work stuff. Just keep working on your homework. I’m going to take this.” There’s a fantastic view of the white carpet in Kaydence’s apartment and her stockinged feet walking over it as she makes her way down the hall.

“But it’s Sunday!” The protesting voice is ignored, fading into the background.

A door shuts, dimming the picture for a moment before a light flicks on. When the movement finally comes to a stop, Kay’s seated in an armchair in front of a wall. Unadorned save for one photograph of herself, much younger, with a man about the same age and a very young child who is likely her daughter. “What do you have?”

Eventually another quadrant fills in with the sight of Marlowe in profile, hair pulled back in a pom of natural hair. Protective eyewear adorns her face, but behind them is ever present makeup. Today’s metallic gold eyeshadow, glossy lip, and thin, gold-colored triple-rods hanging loosely from a visible earlobe greet them in sparkling adornment. “Just a sec,” she says without looking up from holding a piece of metal and a cold heat soldering tool to a chip board. The surroundings beyond her show the tech director to be in the middle of her company building laboratory/machine shop. Working on who knows what. But once the connection is complete, she sets the tools down to turn to the screen more fully. Carefully shaped brows lift, particularly at the actual sight of Asi. Marlowe checks the time, presumably, at an offscreen clock. “Sunday, Funday,” says the engineer with the faintest smirk at the sound of the young Damaris’ protest. Not that she should talk, given her location and likely activity.

Even as everyone else pops into the screen, Godfrey’s little section of the screen remains blank. Was he even home? Or what he otherwise occupied. Time stretches out leaving more and more doubt as to whether he is even there.

What could he be doing?

Wait… they might not want to know.

Against their will, they will know momentarily. The line picks up and it fades into a shot of a rather a well toned, very naked, and wet chest.

“Well, hello, angels,” Godfrey purrs out, finally sitting where they can see his face. Pulling a towel from his head, his dark hair curling in ropes, he leaves it to drape around his shoulders. The square with his face is used to quickly fix his still wet hair. “Apologies for being tardy, luvs, but you managed to catch me with m’ drawers down, I’m afraid?”


Asi's barely begun to speak— haven given up on Godfrey's appearing— when he finally does. She's cut off from any thoughts she does have when he appears, a long-suffering expression coming over her. Her eyes roll back into her head as she rolls in her seated position, knee shifting into view. "You know…” she starts, settling her attention squarely on his image.

"S'a pity," Asi croons, gaze flinted while she does a surprisingly accurate impression of Godfrey's accent. "That that shower did nothing to cleanse you of your shame." Her glower darkens at him, tone flattening. "For the sake of everyone working to fix your mistake, mute yourself for ten seconds and put a shirt on, would you? Luv?"

She'd been looking forward to jumping right in, apparently, little patience for his visual distraction. Or any other distraction to follow.

"I believe I located the arm," she continues harshly, possibly to cut off any protest. "If this were a game of 'good news or bad news first?', then that is the good news." Despite that, her mood cools, her interest in the topic— the puzzle of it all— returning and putting her something closer to the chipper mood she'd initiated the call with. "The remaining news is that it is being held by a criminal organization, one with ties to now-defunct Linderman Group, and current ties to our favorite Chinese megacorporation."

Asi lifts up a hand in caution, arm resting against the side of her knee. "So I believe it to be on Staten Island, which is both good and bad news, given the lack of structure on the island; but its recent attention by the Army Military Police Corps will make infiltration and exfiltration from the island a potentially delicate matter." Turning her hand over, she continues with her palm up, "And the last bit of news of ambiguous omen is that the Ghost Shadow Triad has recently taken a hit already. They will be wary, but they are already wounded."

"So there's that," Asi supposes, looking the others over to see if their expressions will say anything they might not.

Kay reaches for her phone on the stand and taps the screen. Pinches and zooms. Her face stays a placid mask, even though… Oh, no. Godfrey can stay.

But there’s business to be discussed, and the image is split back into quarters again with another tap of her finger. Kay sits up a little straighter and leans in toward the screen. “The Ghost Shadows?” Her mouth twists into a frown. “Fantastic.” It’s not.

“I think I can manage to scrape together a plausible reason to be on the island legally, given Yamagato’s reconstruction efforts. That part shouldn’t be hard.” Grease the right palms and anything’s possible. Sneaking the tech back off the island might be another matter entirely, but she’s already clearly scheming. They can’t tell she’s eyeing the square of the screen occupied by Marlowe, but that’s where her attention settles.

The only real indication of disturbance or distraction on Marlowe's part when Godfrey comes into view is the brief pause of her soldering iron tip mid-air, then it disappearing from view as she sets it aside. "Are you well, Godfrey?" she asks mildly, a brow drawing up a tic, "It's not like you to apologize." Especially for having his drawers down, but she doesn't add that in to encourage him.

It does mean, at least, Asi has garnered Marlowe's full attention with what she speaks next. The news of who is in possession of it puts a wrinkle into the brow of the tech director. It actually appears like a good omen that her expression smoothes out when the arm's location is mentioned, only to conclude in a frown. "So the Cestus is on Staten," she catalogues away. "And what do you mean, a potentially delicate matter?" Marlowe straightens her focus further, staring at the individual faces. But the challenge lies therein: What's wrong with the Army? questions the veteran's expression.

Kay's remark of getting onto the island earns a simple nod of agreement, but it's the latter that shifts Marlowe's concern to ask a plainer inquiry that accompanies the first challenge. "What're exactly we afraid of?" Please, someone, tell her.

Asi isn’t the only one rolling their eyes, Godfrey about rolls his eyes right out of his head. He doesn’t mute, but at least he leans to reach off screen for a robe. A nice one that looks very silky. This he shrugs on, and doesn’t bother to tie shut, while he listens to Asi.

“Do you think they will simply allow us to waltz in and take back what is rightfully ours?” Godfrey asked in counter to Marlowe’s question, “This is the darker side of business, luv. Yamagato and Praxis embroiled in corporate espionage and all. Media would absolutely eat that up like the wild pack of wolves they are. Especially, that Quentin fellow.” Godfrey wrinkles his nose like he smelled something bad. “Yamagato, the bright and shining beacon, flawed.” He might be rambling a bit, but it is a part of his job.

“I doubt our lovely and esteemed leader would appreciate that splashed over the pages of the Safe Zone Sound.” Godfrey motions to the phone, looking at Kay. “You understand the nightmare that it would bring your department, Kaydence, luv.”

“That’s not our only concern, however,” Godfrey looks between the squares, before picking up the phone and heading for the kitchen. “The d’Sarthe Group owns a significant piece of Staten Island. If we want to go in, it would be wise to treaty with them. Offer them a bit of support in their operations.” The phone is propped up against a bowl of fruit while he goes about making coffee.

He was going to need it.

“One thing in our favor: Gideon d’Sarthe has a general dislike for the Ghost Shadows, even though he grudgingly deals with them.” Pausing to look at the screen of the phone, he adds, “‘m sure he’d appreciate us squishing a few of those cockroaches. Mmm?”

Asi looks less than pleased Godfrey might still not be visibly taking this seriously, but he dives right in with explaining why the extra attention to the Island complicates things, which ameliorates her mood for the time being. She still doesn't look pleased when d'Sarthe is brought up, apparently uneager to get involved with one criminal group while aiming to burgle another. "I can only presume you mean on an above-the-board basis, and that is not my call to make or otherwise be involved with," the technopath states in a deadpan, though her eyes focus on a quadrant in particular: Kay's.

"But yes, ensuring this all goes off smoothly and quietly becomes even more paramount. Otherwise, things get political, quickly, potentially exposing a side of Yamagato so many fight to keep hidden."

Asi pauses, looking at them all at once. "Unless— you were to work with the government on this one, perhaps. Admit it was stolen and ask for assistance in recovering it." It's not something she expects they'll agree to, but perhaps Marlowe was right in that this didn't need to be made delicate at all.

There is a marked shift in Kay’s demeanor as the situation is discussed. Her jaw sets, lips purse, and there’s a quiet drumming of her fingers on the surface of her desk. “I am not,” she hisses like a furious serpent, “offering a goddamn treaty to that cocksucking bag of fucking shit, d’Sarthe!”

“Mom?” The off-camera voice causes Kay’s head to snap up, staring angrily at something outside of the frame.

“I said do your fuckin’ homework!” As soon as the words leave her lips, Kay looks startled, one hand fluttering up to cover her mouth. She lets out a shaky breath and drops her hand back to the desk again. “Baby, I’m sorry. Please just… Everything’s fine. I’ll come help in a bit.”

The only response is the muffled sound of a door slamming.

Smoothing a hand over her hair and letting out a long-suffering sigh, Kay turns her attention back to the camera. “Sorry about that,” she apologizes. “We could do this on the up and up.” Circling back around to the topic at hand. “The tech was stolen from us. And we weren’t in the process of doing anything illegal with it, so admitting it was stolen, while possibly making us look foolish for not having secured it better,” Godfrey, “would not be the worst move. Marlowe? Your thoughts?”

"Actually, yes," Marlowe retorts back to Godfrey's counter, but now the others can tell that her cavalier manner is a cover. She's thinking. Calculating. His remark to offer a treaty to d'Sarthe also makes her grimace in distaste. "Imagine the press getting out that Yamagato worked with the unsavory—" She doesn't finish her thought when Kay cuts in with her stronger reaction. It certainly raises some brows. Carefully maintained ones.

Silence falls on her end after the door slams, an awkward few seconds passing before Marlowe breaks from her statuesque poise to chuckle. Perhaps the absurdity of the circumstances presented, or her personal position. "Okay. Okay, I'm in." Her finger lifts, pointing to the screen as if to press upon the other three. "But if we do this, then we do it right. No shady treaties. We bring in the MPs if we need, but otherwise, we show them what happens to those who steal from the company." She pauses a beat, adding in a softer, "And insult me."

There is no hiding the concern as everyone else shoots down informing d’Sarthe and gaining entry on the island. “Yes…” His mannerisms tampered down some. “…well. Seems I’m out numbered. By all means, let’s… what’s the saying, ‘Shoot our foot to spite our horse?’” Brows furrow. He’s not good with those American sayings. “No, that’s not right. Oh! Cutting our noses off to spite our faces.” Godfrey corrects himself with a dismissive wave of his hand.

“The work he is doing on Staten is legit,” Godfrey offers, but then shrugs. He understands looking to go legit. Though does he believe it’s fully legit? Not bloody well likely. “We’ll certainly do this your way, but best do this quietly. He gets wind of Yamagato stomping around his territory….” He, of course, doesn’t finish that.

The Brit eyes the three women, before disappearing off screen again. “So let's hear your plan.” Godfrey lets loose the rope. “‘m with Marlowe, I’m not beyond slappin’ the Triad around for that humiliation. First time I’ve ever been wrong about someone I vetted m’self.”

What an adventure this was going to turn out to be. Asi glances at Godfrey as he sidles offscreen, shaking her head to herself before looking back to the ladies. “Damaris, I’ll leave notifying the MPs to you. If there’s an additional armor suit you can borrow to support us on this, I’ll endeavor to be there occupying it.” For a moment she hesitates, gaze on a quadrant in particular. Marlowe’s. Should she be involved in all of this? Asi has to bite her tongue.

It’s for her to decide. She’s a big girl. And a powerful one, if not a combat-trained one.

“If none of you have New Year’s Eve Plans—” Sorry, Godfrey. “That might be our best time. The holiday should ensure a lighter staff. Slip in and out under the cover of night…”

Asi lifts her brows at her screen. “Sound like the beginnings of a plan?” she wonders at them.

“If he’s so legit,” Kaydence counters flatly, “then ol’ Gideon won’t mind us taking a leisurely stroll through the neighborhood.” She considers for a moment that one of their number could already be in d’Sarthe’s pocket. It shows in the way her mouth curves into a frown. “If he does catch wind of it, and he has a problem with it, he can certainly figure out how to reach me.” She plans to go in personally, after all. She hasn’t hired a replacement for Monica yet, so she’ll be getting her own hands dirty on this one.

In truth, she’s excited for it.

“That sounds like an excellent start. I’ll make some phone calls and lay our foundations. I’ll see what I can get from Eizen regarding the suit. He’s trusted me to get us this far…” Kay looks square into the camera and shrugs. “Marlowe, let me know a good time to come over to yours with a bottle of something and we can discuss further.”

Marlowe purses her lips together in thought, eyes drifting away from the screen to somewhere off it. “I’ll postpone them,” she says to having New Year’s plans, whatever they may have been. But a different thought comes to bear as she looks back to screen, focusing on the faces.

“I don’t know about that. We should move in and out quietly if possible. If you’re asking for armor, you’re expecting trouble. If you’re expecting trouble…” she trails, pinning Godfrey with a look that teeters briefly on doubts. Should this be left up to company management to handle? But, the return to the notion of pride and worry about the stolen tech wins out. Marlowe shakes the misgivings off with a shake of her head.

“We’re going to need to get close enough on the island to confirm the equipment’s location. I’ll see about digging through its specs. Unless, Asi, can you get us some idea of a more specific location? I can bring you a fresh set of AH-UN drones.” Her nod and reply for Kay comes a touch more bolstered and bright. “Sure stop by later. Bring Ella if you want, even, and we’ll jam.” Her gaze refocuses on Godfrey then, and the man gets another look. “And if Gideon d’Sarthe throws a fit because we - Yamagato Industries - are perceived to be encroaching on ‘his territory’, he can take it up with our Legal department.” Brows lift at him, seeking his opinion.

Godfrey returns with his coffee just in time to be pinned down by those looks, he just calmly stirs it in slow lazy circles. However, Asi mentions having to change plans… WELL!

“New Years!?” The business liaison shouts out the complaint, as is expected of him; but then he slips into a sly smile, quipping, “Done.” See… he can be reasonable.

“You seem to be working on this fascinating notion that the criminals.. and even businesses, will play fair,” Godfrey comments with a touch of amusement, like it was cute that Marlowe thought it would work like that. “But, I don’t believe that Gideon has the MPs in his pocket, so that is going for us, at least; but I am not sure I trust letting them waltz in and not botch the whole bloody thing up.” Though, his bias against them might be a touch… skewed. “So I agree with going in ourselves.”

Godfrey taps the spoon on the edge of his cup and says before taking a sip, “Which will be a fun change of pace. You all don’t have to go, but I will be going in and go in armed for bear.” The man didn’t trust much it would be as easy as just… walking in, clearly.

"I have it nailed down to the building," Asi clarifies. "I picked it up on a social media post." She sounds particularly dry about it. "I caught sight of it in the background of a selfie before it was taken down… then tracked it to a physical location."

She was leery before that one of them might run off with the information on their own, but it's clear to her they're all in this together now. Maybe each for their own reasons, but together. "It pinged at a place called Nuojin He Jia. I went by in person earlier this month for reconnaissance. The Triad have a strong presence on the restaurant and the surrounding buildings, which is why I'd prefer to take advantage of when they're off-guard." Asi lets her attention focus on Marlowe, concern pulling the corner of her mouth toward a frown. "They won't just let us walk in. No matter what we do, I believe this will be dangerous. The Triad will not just let us take something that is theirs. We will go quietly, certainly, but… it is better to be prepared."

She'll give no ground on making sure Marlowe and the rest of them are kept as safe as possible during this retrieval. "The AH-UN drones would definitely be appreciated. Eyes ahead will make this a much easier entry." The technopath smiles thinly.

When Godfrey passes the comment about how he intends to head in, Asi lifts her head slightly to say something… and lets the comment pass. But she remembers the last time she'd seen him dressed similarly. It would be interesting to run side by side with him again, even for one night. "All right," is all she says, swinging her thoughts back round. "I'll be in touch with a more solid game plan as soon as possible, including all the information I retrieved during the scouting. Expect an actual Christmas present with our plan of attack."

She sounds almost cheerful as she says, "See you soon." before cutting the call.

Asi can't help it, though. Despite everything, she's looking forward to seeing them.

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