Showcase Showdown


eizen_icon.gif godfrey_icon.gif isa_icon.gif kay_icon.gif kimiko_icon.gif marlowe_icon.gif

Scene Title Showcase Showdown
Synopsis After a near miss with a bomb threat, Yamagato Industries tries to consider their next move.
Date May 24, 2019

World’s Fair, Yamagato Zone, Private Lounge

May 24, 2019

Later in Evening, post-Showcase

The blue and purple lit, private evening lounge area cordoned off to Yamagato employees and their VIP guests is abuzz. Like a hive disturbed and sensing a danger telegraphed by the anxious dances of shuffling feet and expressions of worried faces, rumors fly to and fro about the events of the recent World’s Fair Showcase. Some aren’t rumors, but opinions on the quality of the show that new-named Director of Technology Marlowe Terrell was presenter of with their latest innovations and technological offerings. Believe it or not that was more understated than previous years of the Yamagato’s Got Talent annual talent show three-time champion. Although this year, her partner-in-PR Monica Dawson was not in the running anymore. So there was a chance to dethrone the queen. Anyway.

But the other, more sinister rumors are of what happened towards the end of Yamagato’s show. That there was an impromptu intermission instead of the expected smooth blend into the Praxis showcase. That Yamagato’s security received and took care of a threat to the company. Eizen Erizawa showed up — wasn’t he in Japan? Didn’t Kam Nisatta take off just recently? What happened with Praxis COO Yao Sze and President Nakamura?

That the threat may have been a bomb threat.

That set off several worries, post-traumatic stress episodes, and many staffers going home to the mainland early to hug families and children. Thank god nothing had happened, and there was not further tragedy to lay on to the heads and shoulders of those dutifully toiling for the Japanese corporate giant.

In the private lounge, there still linger some faces who have stubbornly not taken the early ferry back, but have stayed behind in search of comfort, or protection, or answers, or in some cases all of them. Marlowe has goals for all three in mind as she hovers over her glass of a rum and Coke. Comfort in the alcohol, protection in the faint feeling of invincibility it provides, and scouring for certain faces in a patient, nigh predatory stare waiting for them to appear.

Rattled from the previous events, Kay is similarly steeling her nerves with a glass. Not that anyone can tell it from the serenity she seems to radiate in her posture and her carefully schooled features. She makes it seem like nothing fazes her. Inside is a completely different story. It’s her job to present a good front, and she’s good at her job.

After flitting through the others milling about with an assuring smile and calming words, Kay approaches Marlowe. “I didn’t get the chance to tell you earlier,” she begins, as though the elephant in the room might only be the size of a chihuahua, “but your presentation was brilliant. The crowd adored it, and adored you. From a PR standpoint, and a personal one, I’m very grateful we have you.”

“Yes, love, why so serious?” Comes from in front of Marlowe, on the other side of the bar. A bit more whiskey added to her slowly emptying a glass. A tumbler of scotch not far from her — possibly a little fuller than it needed to be. “You put the likes of Beyoncé to shame up there tonight.” The bottle is set down within reach.

It’s Godfrey that stands there, picking up the tumbler. He’s stripped off the suit jacket, leaving him in that vest, with his sleeves rolled up against the warmth of bodies pressed into the room. “And the rather dashing Eizen, swooped in, and stopped the bad guy. So I see no reason to give yourself wrinkles over it.”

The business liaison had been quick to kick the provided bartender to the curb, so to speak. Mostly, he wanted access to the booze. He downs the liquid in a single gulp before moving for a refill. What happened might be bothering him just a bit. A bit. “Kay, darling, need a refill?” How generous of him or he just wants to get her drunk, kind of hard to tell sometimes. “We should really be celebrating our Marlowe here for making Praxis look small time.” He was proud of her, that much was clear.

"You made us look good Lowe." Isa's voice sounds from next to Kay, the heat generating off of her, her blazer is slung over her arm, she doesn't need it. The cream sleeveless blouse fits her well. Actual clothes again. It was a blessing. It reminded her that she and Lynette needed to go to shopping.

The pyrokinetic and new hire at the table pulls a flask out of her blazer pocket and tips the contents into her own glass. Lemon Death. Ahhhh so refreshing. Tipping the flask back to take a swallow, "What's eating you?" Isa has noticed the guards moving during the speech. Kimiko and Kay's reactions backstage.

For a moment lost in her own thoughts, Marlowe blinks and looks around as she’s suddenly surrounded by friendly faces and assuring words. Her smile for all of them comes genuine and warm. “Aw, thank you Kay-Kay, I’m glad you got to see it,” she says to the PR director first, the other woman’s words bringing back the recent rush of the stage. “Does that mean you want to audition for the talent show with me?” The slight flush of Marlowe’s cheeks isn’t just from the alcohol that Godfrey’s refilling. She clears her throat lightly with a laugh, hiding the actual askance within a teasing tone and turning to Godfrey with a short shake of her head. “I could never compare to the Queen Bee, Godfrey. And still, we shouldn’t forget all the people who helped make the showcase as awesome as it was either. Teamwork, right?” Another bigger smile with gratitude goes to the pianist who had accompanied her presentation.

She lifts her refilled glass in cheers for both the substitute bartender and one of the newest arrivals to the engineering division. “Chemical Engineer Specialist Isabelle Wesley-Khan,” she recites of the sleeveless woman and pyrokinetic’s title. As tech director, she made it a bit of a point to go through the divisions’ employees profiles, learning names and faces, and in some cases the abilities. After a quick drink of more rum now than Coke, Marlowe sets her glass down and scoots so the other ladies can join her in leaning on the bar. Isa’s question leaves a troubled tint to Marlowe’s otherwise brightened expression. “I’m glad nothing happened at the showcase,” she admits more quietly under the ambient noise of the lounge. “But I can’t help but think about last April. I heard some rumors there was a bomb threat. If Eizen and his team didn’t stop it?”

That thought deserves another drink.

“You'd all be dead.” Is the flat delivery from none other than Eizen himself as he steps into the lounge from outside, running one hand through his hair which has come undone from its ponytail sometime during the chaos. “Sorry,” he says afterward, exhaling a deep sigh. “That was inappropriate.”

Behind Eizen there is another silhouette moving in to the lounge, the soft whirring sound of servos indicative of cybernetic prosthetics. Kimiko Nakamura places a hand at Eizen’s arm and steps past him to look at the others. “The person we apprehended was a young man with an improved bomb made from commercial materials. He is not a part of any organized attack, but rather an individual, radicalized Anti-Expressive.”

“Practically a child,” Eizen adds, watching Kimiko from the sidelines.

Kimiko eyes Eizen, but says nothing before turning her attention back to the others. “We don't know how he got the bomb past security, yet. Military Police and SESA are investigating but they've informed us they don't believe there is an ongoing threat. I've asked them not to evacuate and made that recommendation to Fairground staff.”

“The reason being…” Eizen says as he slowly peels his attention away from Kimiko. “The bomb wasn't even properly constructed. It couldn't have detonated. Not really. But the intention…” Eizen shakes his head and looks over to Marlowe, concerned.

“Godfrey, you read my mind.” Kay smoothly downs the remainder of her glass and pushes it in front of their new bartender with a brilliant smile and a wink. “I don’t know if I’ve got what it takes to compete in the talent show,” she answers the teasing question with a serious answer. “I’d rather do the judging,” she admits.

Eizen’s entrance makes the director’s blood run cold, however. Kay swallows uneasily and turns to face the security chief and her boss. “I’m glad your team was on top of it,” she says seriously. She’s even more grateful that even if they hadn’t been, it wouldn’t have gone the way their attacker intended. “I wonder who put him up to it?” The detective in her has her speculating aloud.

The man behind the bar seems rather bored by the whole long, yammering, explanation of the bomb and the idiot attached to it. Godfrey’s expression goes a bit flat as he tops off his glass again, realizing he was going to need it if this was going to be the topic of discussion. It was seriously ruining his good mood.

But did we die?

Godfrey suddenly counters from behind the bar, as he fixes Kay another drink. Both Eizen and Kimiko getting a bit of a side-eye. “No, because you as usual were…” What could Godfrey say that was appropriate about Eizen? After going through a few, he finally settles on, “you.”

With a soft tsk, Godfrey shakes his head, “Come now, you and Ms. Nakamura. Sit. Drink.” He points at the Chief of Security, with a little umbrella. “Especially, you mister buzzkill. Some Sake perhaps?” A well groomed, brow lifts in a questioning manner, while the umbrella is added to Kay’s drink with a flourish, with a bit of a cheeky grin.

"The one and the same." Still very weird to be called that but. Waving her hand at the other two at the table. She's met in passing the other employees. She's quiet as she listens and Eizen and Kimiko enter the area. There's a nod thrown their way and her hazel half lidded gaze drifts over to the pair with an eyebrow raised. "A bomb," she comments while rubbing her scar with a thumb, it was becoming a habit for the pyrokinetic. "Motherfuckers."

It's ironic to Isa that Yamagato is having such issues with bombs and the like when Kaito was blowing up things in the Pinehearst dimension.

It was a hard reality for Isabelle that no matter what dimension she was in, there was always a bomb of some kind going off. At least this time she didn't have a hand in it.

Marlowe doesn't exactly jump out of her barstool, but close enough. More color drains from her face though it lingers in the hot feeling of her cheeks as she turns to see Eizen and Kimiko's approach. Their information is alarming, to say the least. Marlowe bites her lower lip, clutching her drink in both hands to keep them from shivering.

Thankfully, there are the others to straighten out her mental tailspin, and for that Marlowe is grateful. She especially turns back to the bar, takes another drink of the rum, and sets the glass down right around when Isa comments with motherfuckers aloud and Godfrey suggests sake.

"Yeah," utters the tech director quietly at first. Then louder. "Yeah. Sake. Come on now. I put on a hell of a show out there, yeah? We better be getting orders for a fleet after that set up! And the Awasu…"

Her eyes gleam again with the enthusiasm of her engineering mind turning towards new projects already. Her gaze lands on Kimiko, lip corners twisting up. "I'll tell you GhostNet's next step? 5G. Leroy and the mobile comm teams will trash the competition. We'll link up Roosevelt, the Safe Zone, Seattle, Japan. Ne?" Ne, K i m i k o?

Kimiko gives Marlowe a look, but not one that promises the moon or the stars, but rather a long conversation later. Privately. It’s Eizen that has something to say, and more to the matter. “We don’t have to look far to find out who was to blame for setting this up,” he says, stepping away from Kimiko to pace the floor. “The military police found literature in the young man’s bag, anti-expressive literature tied to a group called Sovereign Humanity, a part of the so-called Pure Earth movement.”

Cybernetic hand clenched into a fist, Kimiko blinks a look over to Eizen, then looks down to the floor. “I’ve had Jiba run some independent background analysis of the suspect, and they confirm that the bomber was active on US-based internet communities discussing “survivalist” tactics and discussing guerrilla warfare with war veterans. We don’t know whether he was alone or if this was a part of something larger. We also don’t know if he built the bomb himself or if we just got lucky…”

“But,” Eizen chimes in, “we can’t take either risk. The MPs are going to try and keep this quiet. Publicity was likely his entire motive behind this, so keeping it as hushed as possible is in all of our collective best interests. We don’t want anyone to know this was even possible, let alone the motives behind it. It will only serve to inspire others.” Shaking his head, Eizen seems haunted by that notion. “This country is dangerous enough without inspiring the losing side of a civil war.”

Publicity. Kaydence takes her refreshed drink from Godfrey and mutters something inaudible against the rim of her glass before she tips it back for a long drink. She can’t decide if she’s relieved or not to know that Praxis didn’t have a hand in this attempted attack. Not an apparent one, anyway. Given Yao Sze’s movements, she can’t imagine they’d been trying to sabotage their own presentation.

“You were terrific out there, Marlowe. And I don’t just mean the Awasu.” Kay smiles assuringly. “That was quick thinking, calling for an intermission like that.” It’s going to make the unexpected interruption much easier to spin. The light drains out of her eyes even though the smile stays fixed as she turns to Eizen. “Please have Jiba provide me with a report. The more information I have, the better.”

Because this aggression will not go unanswered if Kay has anything to say about it.

The slight has not been missed by the business liaison, his lips fall into a brief line of disapproval at being blatantly ignored. Well, that was rude.

Fine, they would do this a different way. Godfrey busies himself pouring sake, sliding the first one over to the woman of the hour with a brilliant smile and a flirtatious wink. The second to Kay, with the same smile and wink. And a third to Isa.

Don’t worry, Godfrey is listening… quite intensely. The information was important, but he also thought they needed to be far more drunk for this, but… he wasn’t about to let something like a foiled bomb plot ruin a night filled with success.

Two more of glasses of sake are set on the tray, a towel draped over Godrey’s forearm before he sweeps out an odd grace from behind the bar and towards Eizen and Kimiko. “Yes yes… Conspiracy theories and terror plots. Bombs and stupid people. Same shtick, new world order.”

Dressed as he is, Godfrey does look the part of a server, as he balances the tray in one hand, offering it out to the pair of upper management. With a supportive smile, Godfrey says, “Come now, let us celebrate the successes of tonight, and leave the troubles for tomorrow. Hmm?” A brow tips up at Eizen and Kimiko as he waits quiet patiently with the tray held out, arm with towel tucked quite gentlemanly against his front.

“We should toast to Marlowe and our dear, Ms. Nakamura. They were both lovely and fierce… and from what I hear, the bells of the ball.” Godfrey normally tries to keep his distance to Kimiko, but seriously… he was determined to make it a good evening again and get the two most uptight people in the room to RELAX and enjoy some bonding time with their killer team.

Taking the sake with a small grin towards the man, Isabelle tips it into her mouth swallowing the amazing tasting liquor (not as tasty as Lemon Death lemme tell you) and gives Kimi and Eizen a look, "Let me have a look at the bomb," Another sip of her other drink. "I know a thing or a thousand about them." Given that there was just a war in this country/dimension the engineer is hoping that it just sounds like she was in the thick of it during the American Civil War, but her hazel eyes stay on Kimiko now, pointedly. The history Isa shared with Kaito was not the cleanest but it involved explosives, heavily.

"I've had a run in with Pure Earth. Not that specific group though I don't think." Isa also comments and takes another deep swallow of her drink. Mmmm so what about that sake?

Marlowe's eyes are shining with the bold confidence of alcohol, but even that dims slightly with the look from Kimiko. But only just so. The redirect spins her focus to Eizen and the talk about MPs keeping the incident hushed. If there's fear in the tech director, it's not showing nearly as much as it was before.

She nods firmly at Kay, smiling back at the PR director with a lift of her mostly-rum-and-coke to her painted lips. "Sou, ne, Kay-san? Wait, wait, I want a report too." But by the way she drinks the rest of her drink down and then nudges it over to Godfrey, she's ready to party the rest of the night as it was originally intended.

"You'd think this country has had enough about the blow up and is ready to get on with the glow up," mutters Marlowe. With eyes on Eizen, she looks in askance to the chief of security. "What are we going to do about the rest of the Fair? We have what, how many days left 'til the end?"

“The fair will go on as scheduled,” Eizen says with a helpless shrug. “I've already advocated for a review of the situation, but I doubt Praxis and Crito Corporate will want to pull out. Same with Raytech and Latimer…” he says with a look to Kimiko. “As for the bomb…”

“That is in law-enforcement’s hands now,” Kimiko says with a look down to the floor, wringing her flesh and blood hand with her mechanical one. “I imagine Major Olsen of the Military Police will pass most of the information on to DHS and SESA, given their purview of anti-expressive terrorism. Though I can easily get that information through official channels. We have a strong relationship with SESA.”

Kimiko shifts her weight from her mundane foot to lean more on her cybernetic leg, a faint whine echoing from her knee joint. Her pupils dilate, then widen to swallow her irises before normalizing again. “Given the glacial pace that law enforcement sometimes operates, this may be significantly delayed by the changeover to the NYPD next month. I wouldn't be surprised if they were brought in…”

Stepping over to Kaydence, Eizen nods and says in aside, “I'll be sure you have everything you need. Though your department still needs to be fully staffed…” there was the lingering matter of Monica’s retirement still at hand.

“Am I bloody invisible?”

It uttered from the well dressed brit, he says half under his breath, as the pair move past him, turning to watch them address the others. There is a glance to the tray and drinks perched on his hand. Then his gaze moves to the others in the room with a brow arched in a bit of confusion. Was he imagining it?

“Well then,” Godfrey sweeps back towards the bar, depositing the track next to Marlowe. “Give it a shot, love,” he gripes with an air of indigity. “Maybe they will relax for you, hmm? ” Turning back to the task of ensuring other drinks are filled, Godfrey looks very much put out. Turning to silent pouting.

“You’re a bloody delight,” Kay assures Godfrey, her hand fluttering to rest briefly on his shoulder as he passes by on his way back around the bar. Draining the last of her first drink, she wastes no time lifting her sake in its place, though a moment is given so as not to overwhelm the palate.

Again, her gaze shifts to Eizen. There’s a slight stiffness to her as he addresses the issue with her department. “I’m chasing down a few promising leads. Those are big shoes to fill. I want to make sure it’s done by the right candidate.” Which is to say she’s picky. Or secretly hoping Monica will return instead and render the whole search unnecessary.

"Yea get me what you can on the bomb. No harm and having multiple eyes on it." Not that she doesn't trust the government but… Isabelle falls silent. She's not staying under the radar at the moment and that was supposed to be their MO.

Bomb talk is disturbing enough, but when Marlowe catches on to Eizen moving to Kay's side, speaking to the PR director, and well. She was intending to party, until that. The invisible paper walls dictate she not interrupt again. In her way, Marlowe joins Godfrey in the silent pouting, leaning back against the bar top and nursing her recently refreshed drink.

But anyone who knows Marlowe knows she doesn't stay silent for long. Tipping back said drink, she downs it quickly and sets the empty glass aside. "Tonikaku," quips the woman with a bounce of a look amongst Kimiko, Kay and Eizen, "Godfrey's right. I think I've done enough to deserve the night off." A beat. "We all do."

Turning to Isa and Godfrey, she crooks a finger at them first. "I heard there's a dance floor in the other lounge of one of the other companies. So I'm going there. Don't try and stop me…" But the pointer swings to the other three as well shortly, thus including them all. "But, you're welcome to join me." Yes, even Eizen. Even Kimiko.

As much as Kimiko politely smiles away the notion of a night of dancing, there's a look in her eyes that belies some small part of her that misses freedom. But it's been so long, nearly since her childhood, since Kimiko Nakamura has truly felt free. Exhaling a sigh through her nose she threads the fingers of her cybernetic hand through her hair and nods to Eizen.

“Ms. Nakamura will be retiring for the evening, we need to make ourselves available to law enforcement.” A plausible enough answer. “But by all means, if you feel safe being here then enjoy the rest of the night. We will be releasing all of our employees to go home for the remainder of the evening, given the… givens.”

Kimiko is already on her way out without so much as a goodbye. Kay can see tension in Kimiko’s jaw and neck, the way she's not looking anyone in the eye. This whole experience — a near-miss bombing — has triggered something in Kimiko. As someone who lost a husband to tragedy, Kay understands what she's seeing. Kimiko isn't nearly as put together as she's showing everyone else.

Sometimes, even stone cracks.

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