alvin_icon.gif eizen_icon.gif

Scene Title Synecdoche
Synopsis The chief of Yamagato's security brings Alvin Mott in on a shadow war raging behind the scenes.
Date April 29, 2018

Yamagato Building

The Rooftop of the Yamagato Building is an infrequently-traveled location. The helipads present rarely see use, and though it is under constant surveillance from security cameras, there is little in the way of human surveillance here. From the roof, just a few stories up from the street, most of the Safe Zone is visible. The buildings both old and new are fanned out before Yamagato Park, rambling in an urban sprawl beyond the overpass that demarcates the park’s northern border several blocks away.

In the bright morning light on a warm, sunny day in April things seem more hopeful from this height. Even the ruins of Manhattan to the west, shadowed by the concrete wall penning them in, glitters from a combination of dew glistening on skyscrapers and sharp morning light. But Eizen Erazawa isn't concerned with the ruins today. He cuts a black silhouette against the rising sun, hands tucked into his pockets and suit all but monochromatic in inky hues, save for the maroon dress shirt he wears.

It's at this early hour he'd called Alvin Mott to the roof to discuss an “emergent security concern” in his usual manner. Eizen isn't a traditionalist by any means, and the boundaries of an office being four walls holds little meaning to him. He will have his meeting, and it will be in the light of a new day rather than the sterile glow of artificial lamps.

Alvin on the other hand, is whatever he needs to be. If Eizen were more traditional, then he would meet the man in his office and bow respectfully and would utter no word of complaint or disagreement. But Eizen is not traditional, so Alvin — when he shows up — is looking towards the new day's sun, a hand shielding his eyes against the glare. His suit jacket is unbuttoned, his tie just a bit loose though not all the way undone.

He walks over to stand next to Eizen, his eyes out over the city. He's silent for a time, just watching the city wake up, watching people get out onto the streets going about their day to day. "Never thought I'd be back here." He admits quietly, his tone thoughtful as he turns to look over Yamagato park, then back out to New York. A little jewel of order and beauty amidst all the chaos and squalor.

“I was born here did you know? I woke up in the hospital with no memory of who I was. The streets of New York made me who I am. What I am. My time with Yamagato has refined that man. But New York made me.” Alvin’s hands tuck into his pockets as well, thumbs hooked on the outsides, and there he stands for the moment, just watching New York illuminated by the morning sun.

“This city is like a crucible,” Eizen notes, squinting against the sun as he turns to regard Alvin. “It either makes something, or it breaks it down. There’s very little room for in-between.” Looking back out to the sunrise over the crumbling ruins of Queens to the east, Eizen is momentarily silent as the wind picks up and blows through his hair.

“I knew that about you,” comes after the silence, and Eizen glances over at Alvin. “When I read your personnel file, there was a lot of information in there from Mr. Nakamura. But, the circumstances of your childhood were not among them. That’s actually one of the reasons I hired you in the first place.” Eizen turns his attention back out to the sun. “I don’t have many memories of my formative years either. When my ability manifested, it… caused severe neurological damage; seizures, partial paralysis. I barely survived. My memory of my life up to the age of…” he rolls his shoulders, “I would say, seventeen? Nearly blank. I had to re-learn everything from how to walk, how to feed myself… how to interact with people.”

Eizen draws in a breath and exhales a slow sigh. “On the plus side, I can’t remember being bullied as a child!” He manages to bark out an awkward laugh after that, his expression briefly shifting to a smile.

“It is where we overlap that endeared me to your skillset over other, equally qualified candidates, for your role. It is your track record, that has you here with me today.” With that, Eizen looks back to the sun.

Alvin watches people come and go on the streets. A vehicle here and there. But mostly walking. He watches a family all exit their home together and lock up behind them. A grocer getting his goods out for display. He watches people's lives go by. He's blocks away, but it's close enough to see what people are doing. "A crucible." He murmurs, giving that statement some thought as he stands there, dress shoes scraping faintly on the rooftop as his weight shifts from foot to foot slowly.

"Well I'm sure Kaito knew more about me and my history than I thought he did. So you probably know more than I would think. My amnesia didn't extend that far. All my memory was gone. All my learned knowledge. But not the basics like walking and eating. Speaking was hard for awhile, but as I learned more of my vocabulary came back to me. No memories with it though. The mind is a strange thing." Alvin comments softly, breathing in deeply, and then letting it out in a long exhale. "My track record?" Alvin asks, looking curious, turning his head to glance over at Eizen. "I'll admit that piques my curiosity."

“I was curious about my reassignment from Japan to New York. I’m not usually the stay here and stand guard sort of employee. Much more the go and do something about this problem sort of employee.” Alvin being a little careful at least. He really doesn’t know how much of his activities Eizen is privy to. “I was interested in seeing New York again. Interested in seeing what had become of the city. Honestly? It should have been left to crumble into dust. Build a new city somewhere else.”

“You made some amazing enemies in Europe,” Eizen notes, offering a look over at Alvin. “I can count on one hand the number of people I’ve met who went up against the Vanguard and lived.” His brows raise and he looks back to the city. “Your service, your skills, you're an extremely talented man. Which…”

Eizen exhales a sigh and runs one hand through his hair. “Our largest competitor, Praxis Heavy Industries, has been engaged in a shadow war with Yamagato for going on a decade and a half now. It wasn't always bloody, but tan been rapidly increasing to those levels.” Eizen slides a look over at Alvin. “These encounters are, understandably, off the books.”

“Praxis is primarily a biotech company, but they're edging into our robotics territories and we've been keeping them out of that market through whatever means necessary for a long time. The current global climate and their successes in China have emboldened them.” Sliding his hands out of his pockets, Eizen produces a photograph of a crime scene. Many men lay dead and broken around a warehouse apartment. “Praxis had a team here in the Safe Zone. It included a technopath and an osteokinetic, both dead now. But we have reason to believe there's still operators active in the city…”

Now Alvin can see why this meeting was held on a rooftop, and why his track record was raised.

Alvin tips his head forwards in acknowledgement of both the knowledge Eizen's statement represents, and to the words themselves and their veracity. "I would not call that going up against the Vanguard. I would call that running for my life through the streets of Paris for two days solid with my power burned out and barely surviving. The skin of my teeth is an overused saying. But it's very apt for that encounter. But as has come to light, since the trials especially. Not very many people escape the Vanguard. I was not the man then that I am now. I was young and arrogant. So self assured in my own capabilities." There's a rueful and amused smile at his younger self. "Frankly I'm amazed I survived my twenties."

Alvin's head turns to regard Eizen, gaze lingering for a long few moments before finally pulling away and going back out over the city. He listens to the talk of Praxis, a company he's probably taken action against in his past working for Yamagato. But he listens nonetheless. You never know what new information you might glean just from letting someone talk. When the picture is produced Alvin looks at it and makes a face of distaste, upper lip pulling upwards at the corner. "That's messy work. Very messy work. I really hope that wasn't work we paid for. If so? We should get a refund." But he does study the picture, closely, taking it in hand if he's allowed.

"Do we think one of their operators is responsible for the telepathic incidents?" He asks idly while he studies. He's studying a lot. Not just the broken bodies, but points of entry, where the bodies fell, how they fell. Blood splatter. His eyes are taking in a LOT of detail from the picture. "How secure is the underside of the park? That was my security concern given the rumors I've been hearing on the streets about things going on in the sewers. But now it's even more of a concern. How secure are we from underneath?" He asks, glancing over to Eizen, handing the photo back after he's gotten as much information from it as possible.

Eizen folds the photograph up and tucks it into his pocket. “It appears the Praxis people were attacked by overflow violence from Staten Island. A robbery gone wrong, from the looks of the crime scene.” Alvin is able to read between the lines there. “As for the sewers, they were rebuilt entirely when we gutted this part of Brooklyn. Everything underground is new: new pipes, new maintenance, all of it with the same level of access and security we prefer. There is no traditional sewer access to the Yamagato Building or the Fellowship Center, though a determined elemental mimic or teleporter is…” Eizen shrugs, “There’s no silver bullet.”

“As for the bizarre telepathic incidents… I don’t think Praxis is involved.” Eizen reaches up and threads an errant lock of dark hair behind one ear. “It hasn’t caused any real harm, nor has it appeared to be focused or targeted. It doesn’t seem like a security test either.” Then, inconfidence he notes. “I consulted with a precognitive recently, and she warned me that Praxis is likely to maneuver by utilizing a teleporter to some degree. This is a… it’s not something we — or anyone — has ever developed an adequate defense against, to the best of my knowledge.”

Unbuttoning the front of his jacket, Eizen looks back out to the sun. “The reason I’ve pulled you in to this conversation, is that I’m concerned that Praxis may move against us in retaliation to the deaths of their Safe Zone operatives. How soon or what shape that will take, isn’t abundantly clear. But what I do know, is that you have a singularly unique ability and I was wondering if you might be interested in…” he raises a hand to waver in the air, fishing for the right words. “Cross-departmental collaboration?”

Alvin's nod is a slow one, but an understanding one. That explanation makes sense to him given the mess left in the warehouse. "Unless it was a very clever hit designed to look that way. But that would mean dealing with serious professionals." Yeah, Alvin gets the between the lines part of that. His eyes narrow a little as he thinks about that. "That would take an incredibly professional crew to make it look like that. Those bodies weren't moved, they fell like that." He's pondering that, letting it spin around in his head. His head dips to the information given about the sewers, a brief pleased look crossing his features, but it's clear his mind is on the incident in that photo he was shown.

"Funny. Eileen Ruskin was talking about that exact thing. Defending against a teleporter or a temporal manipulator. There has to be some way to defend. Some kind of wave or particle effect that will mess with their teleportation but not with other people as they go about their day to day." Alvin's head turns to look over at Eizen, a slightly amused half smile ghosting over his lips. "Cross departmental collaboration. That doesn't sound like a fancy new word for put them in the ground." Alvin remarks, amusement lacing his tone. Light amusement. He's serious, he just finds the word choices a little comical.

"Who would I be working with?" He asks after a handful of seconds of staring out over the city. "I will do whatever is needed of me Mister Erazawa. I've been Yamagato's man for quite some time now. Tell me what needs to be done. And who I need to work with to get it done." He’s been with Yamagato for over 13 years. Not a life time, but a long time for a man that was completely freelance before he started working for the corporation. Sure there was that little stint where he was assigned to the Company. But that was more an assignment than anything else. An assignment that did a lot of work honing his Evolved hunting skills.

“I'm going to be loaning you out to… public relations,” Eizen smiles, as if letting Alvin in on a joke. “Kay Damaris’ team handles discretionary work for us. You'll be working with her and Monica Dawson at least until we’re sure Praxis is out of New York. On paper you'll be providing extra security to the Fellowship Building.”

Eizen looks over at Alvin, one brow raised. “As for a technological countermeasure, I've heard there was something developed by the Institute, but it was lost. Something we may have to develop on our own, but that will take time. And time…” Eizen inclines his head toward the sun. “Time is the resource of our enemy.”

Alvin muses on that for a few moments with a thoughtful expression as he watches the New York safe zone come alive. “I’ve acquired technology for Yamagato before. If you do hear anything about the whereabouts of possible research or active technology of that nature I wouldn’t mind a road trip.” Alvin’s eyes pull from New York back over to Eizen. “I’ll get in touch with Miss Damaris and Miss Dawson then. See what I can do to help.”

The suited man pauses for a few seconds before he looks over to Eizen. “We need to be prepared for reprisals. Praxis probably assumes it was us that hit them. If we are going to end their presence in the city, we need to do it quickly before they can regroup. Time is most definitely of the essence.” His lips pull into a small smirk as he echoes a very similar sentiment to the one Eizen just used himself.

“We do,” Eizen agrees, finally turning away from the sun. “Praxis is the largest threat we have to our continued existence, and they have been silent for a very long time. Something is happening, Alvin. Something is moving, and I can’t put my finger on it.” Dark eyes cast to the side, regarding Alvin in his periphery. “But when I do…”

“…I just hope it’s not too late.”

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