Tender Resignation


luther2_icon.gif richard3_icon.gif

Scene Title Tender Resignation
Synopsis Luther resigns from his position at RayTech to pursue his own ends, despite there being a build up of threatening activities.
Date May 23, 2019

RayTech NYCSZ Branch Office, Executive Offices Floor, Richard Ray's Office

He had plenty of time to consider what he was about to do.

And to reconsider.

But as he steps towards the cluster of offices that serve RayTech executive officers, RayTech Head of Security Luther Bellamy feels confident in his decision. Confident enough that his stride is steady, his knock crisp and professional on the door to Richard Ray’s office; the door replaced long since a certain incident a year ago had left its hinges red-hot and the barrier kicked flat on the ground by the very man knocking upon it now.

No meeting has been set up for this. It’s simply by way of predicting that Richard is in his office at all that Luther attempts to bother the man.

“Richard,” he calls through the door. “It’s me.”

A few moments after the call, the lock disengages from the other side with a click - a clear invitation to enter.

Once the door’s opened, Richard looks up from a mess of papers spread across his desk with a wry smile curving to his lips. “Luther,” he calls affably, “What can I do for you? Don’t mind all this, the Fair’s been a hell of bureaucracy…” Hands move to sort the papers, rustling them into something that more-resembles piles off to one side before he leans forward, hands folding on the desk, “What’s up?”

His gaze sweeping over the mass of papers on the other man’s desk as he enters, Luther arches a brow up at the explanation for them. He shakes his head and approaches, hand slipping into his jacket inner pocket and producing one more folded envelope to set atop the freshly cleared area.

“As much as I am grateful for all the opportunity you and the company have given me,” he begins in a rehearsed and steady timbre, “I’m officially tendering my resignation for this position.” Luther hovers his hand over the letter for a moment, then lifts away and straightens his stance. Clearly expecting some sort of reaction to its presence, he stands patiently in anticipation of it.

There’s silence from the executive, the words slowly erasing the smile from his face until he’s leaning back in his chair and regarding the man on the other side of the desk rather than reaching for the envelope. The faux-leather creaks beneath him, hands folding over his chest.

After what seems like longer than the ten-or-fifteen seconds it actually is, Richard asks quietly and seriously, “Is this about my sister, or do you simply not trust me enough anymore, Luther?”

Silence meets with silence. Luther keeps the communing quiet as he waits and watches the smile disappear. Expression neutral at first, it shifts into a knit-browed look at the other man's question.


Kaylee's not there to read minds, but the confusion appears over Luther's face and he steps a pace closer to the desk, head angling in a querying tilt and accompanied with a couple of blinks. "You think this is about…" It takes him a moment more to click puzzle pieces together, and then the man's jawline works to stay loose enough to speak. "This is not about Kaylee."

Luther folds his arms across his chest, eyeing the other. "And it's not about you. It's my decision."

“Obviously it’s your decision, I don’t see Eric Doyle standing behind you making you do this,” Richard observes dryly, bringing a hand up to rub between his eyes, “Are you going to give me a reason at all, Luther, or are you just going to— walk away?”

His hand drops, and he arches a brow at the man, “I’d’ve thought that we respected each other enough for a reason, at least.”

He has to admit to himself that he didn’t quite see this tendering of a resignation going this way. Luther heaves a sigh, head shaking, and reaches over for a chair to settle in to opposite of Richard. The movement is a little stiff, awkward with the tension between them. But once he’s sat down, Luther looks back to Richard with an even, steadied gaze.

“Years ago you found me at one of the lowest points, and then a bunch of you went off to Alaska and Massachusetts to prevent a pretty terrible future,” he says quietly. “Or, a lot of terrible futures. We saw a few things when those auroras appeared…” He trails there a moment, recalling, then refocusing. “After the war, lotta people were fucked up. Myself included. But again, you came ‘round and said let’s build a future. I signed on to that.”

Leaning back against the chair, he breaks off the stare on the other man, hands resting in his lap. “And you asking me if I don’t trust you anymore?” Once more his brow furrows, and he presses his mouth into a line for a moment. “I still do,” comes the answer after a pause. He glances back up. “Even after the shitshow that was dealing with Odessa Price.” Even so, he can’t help but shake his head at that past event. “If anything, I would have thought Sunspot proved that. When Eileen Gray wanted us to lay down arms and step aside to stop the project.”

Luther exhales roughly again as he runs a hand over his jaw. Pushing forward, he rests his elbows over his knees, fingers lacing together. “All’s this to say, Richard, I realized I got a family of my own to take care of. And right now, at least, I think that in order to do that, I’ve got to not put your family in a position that’s going to blowback on you.”

Is he basically saying that he’s about to get into it somewhere? Yes. But that aside, Luther looks to Richard in hopes the man understands.

“Well, we haven’t exactly seen eye to eye on a lot of things lately, you have to admit,” Richard says with a slight shake of his head, a hand swept out to one side and hovering there a moment before dropping back to the arm of the chair, “And just because you’ve stuck around doesn’t mean you trusted me, Luther— there’re other people here you might have been staying around for.”

There’s a few moments of silence, and he dips his head briefly, admitting quietly, “I’m glad to hear you still do.”

Leaning back again, the chair creaks as he looks to the man across the desk and says, “If you’ve gotten into some sort of trouble… I mean, it’s not as if I’m solely a businessman here, we both know that. I have plenty of— extracurricular assets. I know you’ve been up to things, I haven’t wanted to push, I was waiting for you to feel you could talk to me…”

The shake of Luther's head seems to agree with the original statement that they haven't been seeing eye to eye. "Maybe not exactly eye to eye, but you didn't put me here to be your Yes Man," replies the man as he straightens a touch. "And you're mistaken if you exclude yourself from people I'd trust, whether or not that's the same circle of people I stuck around for."

Luther continues to study Richard, grey-eyed gaze settled over a neutral mouth line. At the man's note of knowing things, the line curves down at the edges ever so slightly. "Is this you pushing now?" he asks after a moment to consider, a blink. Once again, he runs a hand over his jaw, then his expression flips and he lets out a wry, dry chuckle as a thought strikes. "Never thought I'd be the one to ask this, but. What would you like to know?"

“Heh.” Richard shakes his head, and then he pushes himself up to his feet, stepping away from the desk and slowly over to the large window, hands clasping at the small of his back. There’s silence for a moment as he sorts out his thoughts, and then speaks again.

“The Failsafe Network is largely watching for information regarding Monroe, or any of the old Company projects that were lost during the redaction— Eclipse, Hydra, Umbra, Tarterus,” he says quietly, “We’re trying to determine what that immortal asshole is trying to do, so that we can do it in a way that involves less people dying— we’re aware that he believes he’s saving the world, but in typical manner he’s doing it in the most dickish way possible. Which we don’t know the details of either. That said, I still have other resources out there, so…”

A glance back over his shoulder, “How can I support your operation?”

"It isn't mine entirely," Luther counters mildly, barely a beat following the statement. "Ducky— Eve's been after Adam since God knows when. Sure as hell before I even knew who the hell he was. Is."

Though he feels an urge to stand as well, Luther stays seated as the conversation continues. "And you know Monica's deep into this. Kaylee, too." He's leading up to the last, where his tone still carries a touch of reluctance to add, "And you've heard about Chess, after she helped Monica and Asi Tetsuyama in the operation to take down Kam Nisatta over at Yamagato." A failed operation, in some respects.

Thus naming the operatives, Luther turns to more practical, applicable notes. "Months ago, we took out a warehouse connected to the Ghost Shadows. You remember my report about the stolen AEGIS armor suits. It was an elaborate operation pushing drugs into the Safe Zone, guns and explosives. But also connected to Praxis Heavy. And somewhere in all of that's Monroe's agenda."

"So. That said… I'd recommend gearing up law enforcement and pushing back against the triad." He lifts his gaze from where it drifted away in thought, refocusing on the man across the way. "With Elisabeth and Kaylee in NYPD, and some of those kids taking internships at SESA, you're in a unique position, Richard."

“Eve.” Richard’s lips purse as he looks back at the window, “Just try and make sure she doesn’t murder any innocent bystanders again, if you could. Of everyone involved she’s the most likely to get you all on the wrong end of the law’s attention…”

One hand lifts, fingers brushing over his faint reflection as he looks out over the city. “I know. That isn’t by accident either, you realize, I… let things go for too long. I trusted the Deveaux Group to run things too much, maybe. I don’t think I can trust them anymore, they’ve been acting— strangely since New Mexico. People being moved around, fired, demoted - it feels like a consolidation of power, like they’re moving to make sure only their people are in a position to see what’s really going on. I don’t like it.”

Turning back, he admits, “I still don’t know what’s going on with Chess and all that, nobody’s given be a briefing yet. Which I’m still waiting on.” Just a flicker of irritation shows there, “I may be able to give you more information on Monroe, though. Have you been told about what happened to Devon?”

Wringing hands together for a moment of sudden restlessness, Luther furrows his brow as he looks over. The reaction to Eve, the mention of her murdering bystanders, gets a poorly reflected one back as the man stands from his seat. “Eve’s done a lot of shit in her time but so have the rest of us. Murdering innocents isn't one of ‘em,” he says in defense of the former seer.

But as the subjects discussed slip back to bigger issues, there’s no press of the matter of Eve. Luther shakes his head slowly, answering plainly. “The kid,” he says of Devon, “no. He went to Kaylee for help, and something about him put her in a coma, and that’s enough reason to be cautious.” That is to say, at least under Luther’s watch the coming and goings of the visitors at RayTech had been monitored all that more closely around the residences.

Luther rumbles a low overall sound of discontent as he folds his arms across his chest, thinking. “Monica’s been wary about the Deveaux Group ever since her grandmother came back… suffice to say, there’s stuff going on underneath. Guess you already know, though.” He circles verbally on that topic, pointedly avoiding digging in too deeply. It’s not what he came for, after all.

“Anyway, Adam Monroe, though. Never met the guy, but just based on his fingers gettin’ in everything, ‘s about time someone put some fingers to his face,” concludes the newly resigned security chief. “And I’m concerned that you're going to tell me you’re going after him, too.”

“Ask her about why I’m upset with her, then,” Richard says with a shrug of one shoulder and a frown, clearly not in a mood to get in an argument over Eve of all topics, “Hear it from the crazy woman’s own mouth.”

Hands spread, then, eyebrows making an appearance headed upwards. “Adam Monroe, secret head of Praxis Industries, evolved supremacist currently working - from all appearances - to take over the goddamned world as part of some hairbrained scheme to save it? Why on Earth would I be going after him?”

Yes, that’s sarcasm.

“Devon died on the last Wolfhound mission against the Institute,” he says then deadly serious, fixing the other man with a steady gaze, “Praxis showed up at the same time as them to kill everyone on site. That doesn’t seem like a coincidence to me. Praxis picked his body up. Monroe brought it back with his ability— he can do that if he gets to the corpse fast enough, or if someone puts his blood in their body. It’s regenerative. They were doing experiments on him. They have Doctor Bao-Wei Cong working with them.”

He grimaces, “From what intel I’ve gathered, there is no longer just one Adam. It seems like he’s completed Project Hydra, which means he has god-knows-how-many clones that he can communicate with on a quantum level. The trick is going to be finding Adam-Prime now.”

"Like we're not crazy for listening to her warnings about an interdimensional gold-eyed entity locked away across space and time finally being released," says Luther as he shakes his head. "Crazy, yeah." The sarcasm is joined with a faint, "And rumored Nazi sympathizer, if not actual Nazi." He sighs heavily, moving to join Richard at the windows.

With the information about Devon, Adam clones and overall distressing set of circumstances, Luther doesn't comment for a while as it percolates through. "Adam did that for her too. How'd she put it. Ran his venom through her apple with a side of barbecue ribs." Luther never did quite parse Eve's metaphors until much later. "Saved her life using his blood," he supplies after the beat.

"Between this cloning shit and alternate reality doubles running around, though, who the fuck even knows what's real? But this cloning shit," he huffs, "we agree at least, it's gotta stop."

He looks away from the cityscape, turning to the other man. "So what's your plan to deal with all of this, Boss?" The title spoken with a touch of wry humor, nevertheless carrying an air of familiarity and respect.

“I’m pretty sure he was just using the Nazis to his own ends, not that I’m going to say he’s any better than they were,” Richard allows in wry tones, glancing back to the window before looking back to Luther, “Can’t make any moves yet without understanding his game… and what he’s trying to accomplish. I’m digging into the Company’s redacted period right now, since a lot of it involved Monroe. Project names that were lost and are important now - Hydra, Heisenberg, Gemini, Umbra, Tartarus. Prying open closets to look at their skeletons.”

He shakes his head, “I can just about guarantee that he’s planning a massive genocide against the unEvolved, though. He’s been selling those walking tanks of his to any anti-Evolved country that’ll buy them, and nobody’s gotten close to their programming.”

A motion to the other man, “I’m assuming you have something actionable you’re working on?”

With all the names of projects being tossed into the discussion bucket, Luther finds it to be quite full for him. The man narrows his gaze, glancing back out to the city. “A mountain of shit with a genocidal megalomaniac on top,” he mutters before meeting Richard with a steady gaze on his questioning motion.

“We’re heading to Japan,” he reveals after a beat. “Recon, mainly. But if we come across something that’s worth action, then…” Luther fades off, letting the presumptive notion of a fight hang there as an invisible punctuation to the end of the sentence. “If he is positioning tanks to commit genocide against non-expressives, what’s his game putting them in anti-Evolved countries?” That’s a puzzle he’ll turn over in his mind a while.

Luther wipes a hand down his face, head shaking. “Thought we’d be done after the last war,” he says tiredly.

“We can rest when we’re done, Luther,” Richard says with a shake of his head, “We can rest when we’re done. We had seven years… now we’re back in the game.”

He looks back to the window, “As for what he’s doing? I can think of a dozen possibilities off the top of my head— the least of which is having them all turn on the nations they’re in once enough are in place. Committing atrocities autonomously against Evolved targets to turn the Evos of the world to Adam’s side are another. There are worse things I can think of, too. He’s playing a smart game, I’ll give him that.”

“If there’s anything I can do to help you there, let me know, and let me know what you find out,” he says then, “And… mnm, Japan. I may need a favor while you’re there.”

"Or we can rest when we're dead." The fatalistic finish isn't particularly useful, Luther recognizes. He rolls his shoulders back in a stretch, looking up to the ceiling and beyond as if the heavens would reach down and take them all to said resting place now. But of course, that isn't to be yet.

The note about a favor turns him back to Richard. A silent angle up of his brow asks, waiting for the other man’s detail.

Richard smiles faintly but humorlessly. That’s what the line’s always meant. Turning fully away from the window finally, he walks back towards his desk with a shake of his head. “Raquelle’s mother is dying of cancer. In Japan. They’re notoriously… reticent about letting people leave. Depending on how things go with him attempting to get her over here, we may need an extraction, in which case you being over there will be a happy coincidence.”

Following by a turn of his head, Luther narrows his eyes and his gaze drops with the ill news. Sympathy tints his expression, but as a faint wash given that this is not Richard's mother being spoken of, and the actual son isn't present, nor is he particularly acquainted with Raquelle the same way the Rays are. Curiosity follows. Concern, after that.

"Extraction," echoes the man in a cold almost-growl when saying the word. "But aside from the family reunion aspect of this. Why're they not letting her leave? Japan's not closed borders. It sounds more like a logistical problem on this side of the Pacific."

“The Expressive laws over there are… complicated,” Richard admits with a grimace, leaning against the desk and folding both arms over his chest, “His father turned out to be Evolved without knowing… class three. He leaks radiation, accidentally gave his wife cancer. Because he wasn’t registered, he can’t bring her over… once she’s here, I know enough people in the government to call in some favors.”

A slow shake of his head, “But it sounds like a fucking trap, to be honest.”

The slow rise of Luther’s eyebrow gives away his skepticism, doubt in the lack of details provided. “And Raquelle can’t go over there for some reason involving his ability,” concludes the man in a quiet rumble. Thoughts turn over, and he eventually nods slowly. “I’ll see what I can do on my end.” It’s not very much of a promise, but given the givens, Luther gives as much as he feels capable.

With that said, he moves over to the desk where Richard leans cross armed. A glance travels down to the unopened resignation letter on it, and for a flash of the moment Luther feels a worried pang. But he shakes if off with an exhaled huff of resolution. He extends his hand to other man. “You’ve done a lot. More than you think you did, Richard. And I am grateful. Call me if you think of something else,” he leaves verbally, the gates of a bridge between them wide open.

Richard offers Luther a ghost of a smile, and he reaches out to clasp the offered hand. “When you’re done doing what you need to do… well, there’ll always be a place for you,” he says seriously, “And if you need anything, be in touch. I mean, I’m going to be in touch anyway, I have a technopath and I’m a nosy spy at heart. I’ll get you the information on Azami before you leave.”

The handshake from Luther is firm and warm, solid, brief. His smile regains a touch of wryness with the slant upward, and he angles his head. “Will do. But don’t have Alia go around breaking international cybersecurity laws just so you can get a peek at something,” he says, turning and making his way out. “I’ll look for your message.”

That’s as good a goodbye as fits for now.

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